A full twenty years after his career came to a close, Dennis Rodman remains one of the most controversial, beloved, and headline-making players in NBA history – a reality he insists would have helped him become a billionaire if he’d played in today’s era.
In a sprawling conversation with Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin, the Hall-of-Famer says he wished social media and celebrity gossip sits like TMZ would have existed during his playing days. Why? All of the hoopla surrounding Rodman, he’s certain, would have made him a “f****** billionaire.”
“I wish social media, Instagram, TMZ, all that s–t was around back then,” he said. “I’d be a f–king billionaire. I was the first one to have TV cameras in his house. All this reality TV stuff, I was the first guy to do it. I didn’t even know how to do it. I just did it.”
Rodman goes on to mention his frequent live appearances on The Howard Stern Show, as well as a short-lived MTV show called The Rodman World Tour, in which he interviewed celebrities from various fields.
Obviously, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year has a point here. Drama drives traffic and traffic drives revenue in the internet age, and Rodman was mostly unable to reap the rewards of his wild lifestyle and overall persona due to the public’s limited access to his antics. It’s hard to believe that if he were playing right now, dating Madonna and moonlighting as a professional wrestler, Dennis Rodman wouldn’t have one of the biggest social-media following in all of sports.
Considering LeBron James is far from reaching billionaire status, though, Rodman’s appraisal of his theoretical earning potential seems a bit exaggerated.