Dennis Rodman Recalls His Beef With Gregg Popovich, Calls Him ‘The Biggest Problem’ For The Spurs

Recently, Gregg Popovich surpassed Hall of Fame coach Don Nelson for the most regular-season victories by a coach in NBA history. He is widely revered as one of the greatest coaches in history of the league. Over 26 seasons as coach of the Spurs, has amassed over 1,300 wins and 5 NBA Championships.

But very less people know that before he was anointed the coach, he served the chair of Vice President and GM of the Spurs. Though it is believed that his tenure as an executive was not as fruitful as his coaching stint.

NBA legend Dennis Rodman was part of the San Antonio Spurs from 1993 to 1995. He’s also someone who is never afraid to speak his mind. In his book, ‘Bad as I Wanna Be’ (published in 1996), he claimed that Pop, the GM, was once the biggest problem in San Antonio.

(h/t Reddit user depchfdwanetrobinson)

“The biggest problem in San Antonio was Gregg Popovich, the general manager. He wanted to be the coach and the general manager. He stood around and held Bob Hill’s hand every day, saying, “Okay, you’ve got to do this now. It’s time for you to listen to me.” If Hill didn’t do it, Popovich would jump his a**, and so HIll would turn around and jump somebody else’s ass. Shit flows downhill, and it seemed like I was always at the bottom. Other than the playoffs I didn’t have much of a problem with Bob Hill. He was being used as much as I was. Popovich wanted to be the guy who tamed Dennis Rodman, and he tried to use Hill to do his dirty work. That was Popovich’s big challenge. Mr. Military was going to make me a good little boy, a good soldier. He lost sight of everything else, and then when he decided he couldn’t do anything with me, he badmouthed me and gave me away for next to nothing. Then he pretended it was good for the team.”

Rodman is known as an offbeat and a vibrant character. Throughout his tenure with the Bulls, he was always hosting or attending wild parties.

Popovich, who is considered as a no-nonsense coach and a strict disciplinarian, probably didn’t appreciate that aspect of Rodman’s demeanour. This could be the reason why Pop eventually traded Rodman and crowned himself coach of the team ahead of the 1996-97 season. Dennis too had his change in fortunes and went on to win three titles with the Chicago Bulls. In the end, it is safe to say, it worked out well for both of them.

Rohit Shahi is a Sports editor and a passionate fan of NBA. He aims to bring all the latest NBA news to you, covering all the major events and biggest superstars.