photo credit

The story of Dennis Rodman contemplating suicide back in 1993 and Craig Sager being somewhat involved is not new in itself. It’s a story that has been shared before, namely in his autobiography in 1996 titled “Bad As I Wanna Be” and then again in an interview in 2011. Seeing how Sager unfortunately passed away yesterday and Rodman took to twitter to publicly thank him for preventing him from taking his own life, this is a good a time as ever to go back and share some more specific details of what happened on that night in 93′.


Back in 1993, Rodman was reportedly not doing well mentally. The Bad Boy days of the Pistons were over, his mentor and favorite coach ever, Chuck Daly, was also gone. He had just went through an ugly divorce with his first wife and was in a dark place. He knew his time in Detroit was coming to an end soon and it wasn’t something that made him feel good. That’s when the suicidal thoughts started.

“Those thoughts went through my head,” he said in a 2011 interview with reporter Graham Bensinger. “I think the circumstances were dispersing from Detroit. The organization wanted to get rid of key people on the team . . . I was basically by myself. [Or so] I thought.”

He added: “I didn’t have no family in Detroit.”

During the 1992-93 season, there were constant reports about him wearing out his welcome and his antics no longer being tolerated. A story in the Los Angeles Times said he was suspended twice for insubordination and once “removed his shoes and read a magazine after being taken out of a game at Washington.”

The Times also said that Rodman left a suicide note for a friend to find and police later found him sitting in the parking lot of The Palace at Auburn Hills with a loaded rifle.

It appears that at some point during that night, Rodman was seriously getting ready to end his own life until Craig Sager of all people tracked him down at a strip club in Detroit called “The Landing Strip”.

Sager told Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated earlier this year what happened. “Rodman had the gun. He was going to do it. I told him how stupid that would be.”

Rodman and Sager remained friends and it wasn’t long before Rodman was out of Detroit but was happy about it rather than being depressed. He wound up with the Spurs and resurrected his career before being part of the best team of all time with the 1996 Chicago Bulls.

It’s no wonder that Rodman was hurt with the news of Sager’s passing yesterday and tweeted “Craig Sager thanks for saving my life when I was in dire need of help in Detroit back in 1993. Condolences to your family. RIP my friend”.

You never know who is going to have an impact in your life and this player and sideline reporter had a bond that was much deeper than basketball.

Chicago Tribune