'Last Dance': Rodman was "very quiet" with Bulls, says team-mate
Dennis Rodman's fondness for partying may have been clear to see in the 'Last Dance' series about the Chicago Bulls, but he was "a really hard worker" on the court, says Rusty LaRue.
'The Last Dance' may have emphasised Dennis Rodman's eccentric ways when it showed him partying with Carmen Electra in Las Vegas, yet one of his Chicago Bulls team-mates insists he was actually "very quiet".
The documentary profiling the Bulls' 1997-98 campaign last week detailed the restless Rodman's mid-season trip to Las Vegas, which was sanctioned by head coach Phil Jackson.
Rodman stayed in Sin City with his model girlfriend Carmen Electra longer than the agreed time and it took a visit to their hotel room from Michael Jordan for the trip to end.
Rodman "the exact opposite of his persona in the public", says LaRue
Subsequent recollections indicated that Rodman did not miss a beat when he returned to practice, and Rusty LaRue, a role player on that 1997-98 Bulls team, revealed the power forward was completely different once it came time to work.
"He's probably the exact opposite of his persona in the public," LaRue told Stats Perform. "He's not a flamboyant guy. He was very quiet, a really hard worker, never took plays off in practice.
"When he was there, he practised his tail off and then would actually stay and lift weights after.
"He really didn't say a whole lot, kept to himself, kind of did his thing but was really a hard worker and had a very high basketball IQ.
"He was certainly an asset to that team in a lot of different ways."
LaRue praises Kerr coaching impact at Golden State Warriors
LaRue, who was an NBA rookie on that 'Last Dance' team, was promoted to the roster during the season when fellow point guard Steve Kerr got an injury.
While Rodman, Jordan and Scottie Pippen were seen as the key figures in a team that secured a second three-peat, Kerr's basketball acumen has been evident since he went into coaching.
The Golden State Warriors coach has led Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to three NBA championships in four years recently, which has impressed his old colleague LaRue.
"Steve always was a really cerebral player, obviously, and was a tough competitor," LaRue added. "You can see how that translates into being a really excellent coach.
"Probably the biggest thing I see on those Warriors teams is he came into a situation where he had a lot of elite players.
"He was able to manage those players and get them to all play together and sacrifice themselves a little bit for the team."