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David Robinson explained why Dennis Rodman was ‘so destructive’ to the Spurs

Photo: Brian Drake, Getty Images

Dennis Rodman and David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs are seen in a photo of when they played together for years in the 1990s. Recently, Robinson said had a hard time figuring out Rodman, one of the most erratic players in NBA history.

Dennis Rodman and David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs are seen…

David Robinson, like many people who followed Dennis Rodman’s career or watched ESPN’s “Last Dance” series, had a hard time figuring out one of the most erratic players in NBA history.

Rodman joined Robinson’s San Antonio Spurs in 1993. That season, Rodman won a rebounding title and Robinson led the league in scoring. But the accolades did not translate to playoff success and Rodman was traded in 1995 after two turbulent seasons.

“Dennis is a complicated guy,” said Robinson in a recent appearance on the Bulls Talk podcast. “I think because of his background, he doesn’t always know how to express himself.

“He’s a hard guy to figure out because he’ll come into the locker room and he might not speak for months. Like literally would not say a thing for months. Then he’d say something and you’d be like, ‘Uh, okay. Don’t say anything else.’ It just comes out of left field.”

READ MORE: ‘What the hell is this all about?’: Dennis Rodman recalls the Spurs decision to trade him

Robinson recalled asking Rodman to be more of a leader for a young Spurs team. Rodman was not interested in the role.

“He’s an easy guy to like because he has a good heart,” Robinson said. “He wants to play hard. He wants to do the right things.

“But man — as far as a team goes — he was so destructive to a team perspective because he’d show up to practice late and there was nothing you could do to make him get out of his comfort zone. “

Rodman recognized his relationship with Robinson was far from perfect. In a 2019 interview with USA Today, he noted that the pair never communicated as well as they played together.

“He didn’t know what to think of me,” Rodman said. “But as long as we were winning, and successful, we thought it would blow over. But it never did blow over.”

Rodman told the publication that he thanks his “lucky stars” that the Spurs did not win a championship because he would never have been traded to the Chicago Bulls, with whom he won three titles.

Of course, the years that followed the trade were pretty kind to the Spurs, too. Robinson noted that while Rodman became a champion in Chicago, the Spurs drafted Tim Duncan in 1997.

“Nobody’s crying here in San Antonio,” Robinson said. “It worked out very well.”

Mark Dunphy is a breaking news and general assignment reporter for | | @m_b_dunphy