Bad as I Wanna Be

Bad as I Wanna Be

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by Dennis Rodman, Tim Keown

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A wild ride inside the glowing head of Dennis Rodman--the NBA's greatest rebounder and America's most outspoken and outrageous athlete.

When Sports Illustrated put the man they call "America's most provocative athlete" on their cover, they sold more copies than any other issue they had sold in a decade (except the swimsuit issue). Why? Because


A wild ride inside the glowing head of Dennis Rodman--the NBA's greatest rebounder and America's most outspoken and outrageous athlete.

When Sports Illustrated put the man they call "America's most provocative athlete" on their cover, they sold more copies than any other issue they had sold in a decade (except the swimsuit issue). Why? Because Dennis Rodman, superstar basketball player who joined the Chicago Bulls for the 1996 season, has more in common with Mick Jagger than with his new teammate Michael Jordan. With his body-covering tattoos and ever-changing fluorescent hair, Rodman's sideline antics and celebrated benchings have captivated sports fans as much as his record-breaking on-court performances and earned him a reputation as a rebel with the same penchant for shocking behavior as his on-again off-again squeeze, Madonna. In Bad as I Wanna Be he shares his surprising and candid opinions on everything from fame, money, and race relations, to sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll--and he'll talk about his life, from going to prison for stealing watches to his daughter, the light of his life.

At a time when most celebrities and professional athletes try to control their public personas like politicians and refrain from expressing their true beliefs, Dennis Rodman is a refreshingly unique, uncompromising individual who both transcends his world and refuses to conform to it. Bad as I Wanna Be is as candid, intriguing, and unforgettable as he is.

Editorial Reviews
The NBA's greatest rebounder and one of the most unconventional and controversial athletes today discusses his life and the world around him. Includes photos.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This memoir by the NBA's top rebounder-turned-cross-dressing media icon has sold more than 725,000 copies. (June)

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Random House Publishing Group
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4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

At that point in her life Madonna was ready to settle down.  She was really cool to be around--mellow, low-key, caring.  She has this public image of being hard and tough, but underneath that she's a sensitive person.  She likes to be held and comforted.

I wasn't ready to settle down, though.  She wanted me to calm down a little and be happier just hanging with her and living a slower lifestyle.

She used to say, "I've been through that stage.  I've been wild and crazy." She wanted me to get through my wild stage, too, but I couldn't just drop everything.  I was still having fun, still looking for new challenges.  I wanted to go out on my boat, hang with my friends, but she couldn't do that.  If she did, everyone would have gone ballistic.  She was always looking for places where she could BE A PERSON and NOT MADONNA, and that was hard for her.  She couldn't just come down to Dallas and hang out with me and my friends.  They'd be too freaked out, and it would end up being a bad situation.

I don't have to be hidden behind closed doors.  The way I look at it, if people get used to seeing something, pretty soon it's a regular thing.  Before long, seeing me out at a club isn't a big deal.  I tried to get her to go out, but I think she's pretty much afraid of going out.  In her position, there's a little fear about what people might do to her.  YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN SOME CRAZY PERSON IS GOING TO START STALKING YOU when you're that high-profile, like that Hoskins guy who said if he couldn't have her he'd slice her throat from ear to ear--the guy her bodyguard shot.  She couldn't even go out to dinner that easily; there's always the chance people would mob her, swallow her up, and not let her move.

In a way, it's sad.  She's such a prisoner of her fame.  She can't do the kinds of things normal people do.  Almost everywhere she goes is a big fucking scene. People notice me and bother me for autographs and everything, but I'm not going to let that keep me from doing the things I want to do.  If I want to go out, I'll go out.  I want to be as normal as I can be.  Madonna can't really do that.  There are just a few places she can go to be normal.

She's a great lady.  If you watch her on TV or in her videos, you get the perception of her as a real hard person who says "Fuck" for twenty minutes on David Letterman.  In person, she's nothing like that. I don't remember her swearing to excess when we were out together.  She always handled herself elegantly.

We never had any problems.  It was one of the easiest relationships I'd ever been in.  The sex was great--not the greatest, but good enough--but there was more to it than that.  We understood each other so well, it was almost scary.

But as sweet as she was, whenever I was with her I always knew I was around a woman who had power and knew how to wield it.  She is a big-time businesswoman, and she knows exactly what she wants.  Just look at the way she got me to come to Miami: she got hooked up with Vibe magazine, then used that to get me down there.  She wanted to meet me, so she made it happen.

She can have anybody she wants.  She's got all the money in the world.  She's a powerful woman.  That's what appealed to me about her.  There was nothing else in it for her.  There was nothing I had that she wanted.  There were no strings; it was all just liking the person and enjoying being with them.  I didn't have to wonder whether the roof was going to cave in and she was going to start wanting my money.  Hell, MY MONEY WAS POCKET CHANGE FOR HER.

And the sex was very entertaining, which helped.  It was entertaining but it wasn't something that needs to be exploited.  It wasn't wild, crazy, and kinky. It wasn't like that at all; it was just very entertaining.

Everybody thinks she would have the greatest, wildest sex in the world, and every guy wants to sleep with Madonna. I got to where I didn't think of her that way.  We were comfortable together, and the sex was perfectly natural and satisfying.  SHE WASN'T AN ACROBAT, BUT SHE WASN'T A DEAD FISH EITHER.

I HAVE TO COME CLEAN ON ONE THING: The whole time I was with Madonna, I had a girlfriend named Kim.  She was living with me in San Antonio, but the relationship was messed up because I thought she was lying about who she was. She also kept saying she had all this money.  It turned out she was feeding me a bunch of lies and that made it easier for me to see Madonna with a clear conscience.

Kim knew I was seeing Madonna, and that caused some problems.  She knew our relationship was dead.  She saw all those faxes and letters from Madonna.  She knew I was talking to Madonna all the time.  We broke up, and I started seeing Madonna more.

After we broke up, I took Kim to Las Vegas.  I wanted to go to Las Vegas, and I didn't want go by myself so I took Kim.  The first night we're there, Madonna's assistant comes up to me at the craps tables and says, "There's someone who wants to see you upstairs." She didn't normally travel with an entourage, but she brought it along this time.

I'm thinking, Oh, God.  And MADONNA WAS RIGHT THERE.  She tracked me down in Las Vegas.  I'm there with Kim, and Madonna found out and followed me. She was not only there, but she was IN THE ROOM RIGHT NEXT DOOR. She found out what room I was in and got herself hooked up with the one next to it.

Madonna knew I loved Las Vegas, and when she found out I'd left San Antonio, she went to Las Vegas.  I guess anybody could do that with me, because I'm pretty predictable that way.  When I go party, I go to Las Vegas.  When I go to Las Vegas, I stay at the Mirage.  Madonna figured that out, then found out what room I was in and got the one next door.  I told you--she's one woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it.

So after Madonna's assistant got me, I left the table--by myself--and went to see Madonna.  We were in the stairwell, and she was saying, "YOU LOVE ME. YOU WANT TO BE WITH ME.  LEAVE WITH ME RIGHT NOW AND FORGET YOUR GIRLFRIEND."  So what did I do? I think obviously I did the right thing by going and getting my shit and leaving with Madonna.  We got on a plane and went back to her house in Los Angeles.  Kim got home okay, but there wasn't much left of our relationship after that.

*       *       *

From Bad As I Wanna Be

Fifty percent of life in the NBA is sex.  The other fifty percent is money....

On an April night in 1993 I sat in the cab of my pickup truck with a rifle in my lap, deciding whether to kill myself....

Madonna looked at me all sexy and said, "You're staying with me, in my room."...

I don't expect Scottie Pippen to forgive me for what I did to him.  I don't expect him to forget about it either....

I've been homeless.  I've worked at 7-Eleven.  I'm a real person, with real experiences, not some image that somebody in the NBA office created....

When you talk about race in basketball, the whole thing is simple: a black player knows he can go out on the court and kick a white player's ass....

I used to go through the whole routine--dress up, wear makeup, act like a girl....

Those guys in San Antonio can kiss my ass, especially Gregg Popovich, the general manager...

Popovich wanted to be the guy who tamed Dennis Rodman....

I knew I would have been just another nigger if I didn't play basketball....

How much do you really want to win when you have as much money, attention, and fame as Shaquille O'Neal does?...White women get into relationships with black men because they think the sex is going to be better....

As long as I play ball, I can get any woman I want.  But there's no scoreboard in my bedroom.  Wilt Chamberlain lied when he said he had 20,000 women.  Wilt should open his own sperm bank....

I can go out to a salon and have my nails painted pink, and then go out and play in the NBA, on national television, with pink nails....

I wanted to be white because I was black, and black was never the right color....

I see Chris Dudley, Derrick Coleman, Dale Davis, and Anthony Mason making huge money, and I see injustice.  Who buys a ticket to see these guys play?...

I left the table--by myself--and went to see Madonna.  We were in a stairwell, and she was saying, "You love me.  You want to be with me.  Leave with me right now and forget your girlfriend."...

If I die young, everybody's going to say they saw it coming....

The Spurs might be more of a basketball team if David Robinson didn't freeze up every time they play a big game....

Whenever someone would ask Phil Jackson if anything I've done surprised him, he would always say, "Yeah, it surprised me that he needs a special tool to take his pressurized earrings out."...

You're going to have to find a way to stop me on your own, bro, and nobody's found it yet.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Bad As I Wanna Be 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It told a true story and it was well written. It was my favorite biography i have read yet! The book tells about his struggles throughout life and all the stereotypes he has been given. A MUST READ!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As BAd as I Wanna Be written by Dennis Rodman and Tim Keown. Is an interview about Dennis' life, all through out Rodman's life he has struggled to do better for him self but it's not easy for a man who lives in the getto. Dennis finally found what he wanted to do after his sisters told him to try out basketball and use the hieght he had as an advantage. Dennis takes their advise and he notices things he never could do like dunk or rebound the ball so easilly. I think that the people who think that Dennis is not worth the time should read this book and judge him by the book and not by its cover. I think that peolpe will finally understand him and they will feel diffrent about him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unlike you would expect, Dennis Rodman gives us a mystical adventure about his life. From his 'Bad Boys' days in Detroit to a big disaster in San Antonio, then accepting what the Chicago Bulls had to offer. Rodman also tells about a six month relationship with Madonna, and chapters about serious issues in the NBA, and life today. All I can say is that Rodman don't tell no bull.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dennis is probably the most misinterpreted individual in the NBA. Im a big time basketball fan and was pretty skeptical of reading this book, but after picking it up I could not put it down. I came to realize that this guy (Rodman) is just the same as many of us...unfortunate for him, he's in the spot light.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is an absolute masterpiece. The way that they word things is very explanitory and I really enjoyed it. Plus Rodman Rules.