“[Robinson] got eaten alive by Hakeem Olajuwon that whole series,” begins Rodman in his book. “They asked me to guard Olajuwon, and I refused. Before those games, he looked so [expletive] scared in the locker room, he couldn’t stop shaking.”
Rodman goes on to say that Spurs Head Coach Bob Hill would ask Robinson if he could play Olajuwon straight up, to which David would “just shrug and say, ‘you all can come and help if you want’.”
A longer quote from the book can be found in this 2017 Fadeaway World article by Alonzo Warond. A separate Chicago Tribune article from 1996 also makes mention of the “shaking” incident but does not specify a game or series.
The main thing to dissect here is how accurate Rodman’s recollection is versus how much he may have wanted to embellish what really happened. It’s no secret that Rodman didn’t have the best relationship with some within the Spurs organization, including David Robinson and Gregg Popovich.
In an interview on Undeniable with Joe Buck in 2017, Rodman spoke about his relationship with the city of San Antonio and Coach Popovich. “The city kind of embraced me, but Popovich hated me. He hated my guts because I wasn’t a Bible guy,” said Rodman.
As for his relationship with Robinson, well let’s just say their personalities were polar opposites. In his book, Rodman speaks about a quote from The Admiral that said Rodman turned the team into a zoo throughout his two years with the team.
Rodman has taken plenty of shots back at Robinson, including his opinion that he would “freeze up every time they played a big game.” Rodman probably doesn’t mind making Robinson look bad, so the question is: was he exaggerating?
Next: What Likely Happened