TODAY   |  April 07, 2012

Rodman: I’m neither broke, nor sick

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman sits down with TODAY’s Lester Holt to refute reports that he is financially broke and in poor health, rumors that emerged after the mother of two of his three children charged in court papers that he owes more than $800,000 in back support.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> dennis rodman is a five-time nba champion and was part of the bulls. he was as an tick off the kofrmt he wore a wedding dress to promote his auto biography and he never wore a tattoo and earring that he didn't like. now he's here to address allegations that he's broke and hasn't paid child support . i sat down with him and his attorney for an exclusive tell-all interview. it's a pretty bad headline to have to wake up to to say you owe 800,000 dollars in child support . they call men like that deadbeat dads .

>> i've been called worseful i've made a statement that, you know, i wish i was a better dad. i have one regret. i wish i was a better father. i wanted to be there for the kids every day. i'm not a deadbeat dad at all.

>> do you pay child support ?

>> yeah, i pay child support .

>> that wasn't the headline last week. the court says he owes $800,000 in spousal support and child support .

>> that was not based on his actual income.

>> willis says it's been sharply reduced and he's meeting his obligations but in a written report she says he's broke and unable to pay.

>> are you broke?

>> no, i'm not broke at all. i'm not michael jordan . i made some money in the nba, but, broke, no, i'm not broke.

>> part and parcel with all your legal problems people around you say you're sick, that you're not well and they talk specifically about your struggles with alcohol. how are you doing on that?

>> i'm not sick. people have those allegations of me since 1995 , you know. dennis parties a lot, dennis does this. i'm going do what i do. i proved people wrong from day one and i'm sting do that as far as an individual and athlete.

>> you feel good.

>> you feel good.

>> i'm 50 years old. i do go out and have a good time and most of the things i do is based on my apeeshss.

>> his struggles have played out very publicly over the years like "apprentice" and "celebrity rehab." he tells me he has the drinking under control.

>> if dennis rodman dice, say he dies tomorrow, probably the majority of the people would say, see, i told you so. pretty funny, huh? i told you so. i told you he was sick. well, no one told you i died. i could have died in an airplane crash or a car or a motor vehicle or walking across the point.

>> you get on point. that's what happens. whitney houston , amy winehouse . those things were said. people said, i'm not surprised. and they would say that about you.

>> amy wine house was a drug addict and whitney houston went on "oprah" and said she was on cocaine. i never even tried cocaine.

>> rodman loves attention.

>> your an ticks have been part of your signature on the court and in life after the court, haven't they?

>> it hasn't hurt anyone. i go to games with kids who sit there and color their hair, black, green, yellow, brown.

>> this is part of the interview where i ask you what are you doing now. but i want to know -- i want to make sure i have this right. you're trying to put together a topless women's basketball team ? do you want to --

>> you had to bring that up.

>> it was your idea. they say, are you actually going do that topless basketball game? it's more entertainment. this is the wild side of me.

>> beyond all the shock, one gets the sense that above all rodman is a shrewd businessman who took the bad boy moniker he earned as a detroit piston and ran with it. what he accomplished on the court was a championship bowl and four other teams is undeniable.

>> last summer in the hall of fame , was that vindication for you?

>> i don't think it was vindication. to me it didn't matter. i know my career was good for a lot of people. like i said, the reason i got emotional was because overmy kids. my kids never seen me play. that's been the case for them. the fact is i'm dry, clean, doing all this. but is your dad in the hall of fame ? is your dad one of the best players ever to play the game of basketball? most of these kids can't say that. my kids are going to say that.

>> we did reach out to michelle rodman 's attorney. she said he tried do the right thing. she went on to say she has lived in hotels with her kids. michelle has lost her homes because of denis and she has two young kids that got movend around loot and that's the cree said i'm on is to try to get these these kids a stable home.

>> we were in chicago.

>> i was there too.

>> we both with.

>> that is so often the conflict with athlete, separating what tay do on field versus what we know about the personal life . unnorth nart lay