Eric Bischoff Subtly Pushed Dennis Rodman To Provoke Karl Malone During 1998 NBA Finals

WCW got plenty of publicity during the 1998 NBA Finals when Dennis Rodman skipped practice to show up to Nitro.

Rodman's appearance helped kick-off the road to Bash at the Beach where Rodman teamed with "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan to face Diamond Dallas Page & Karl Malone. And the wrestling crossover didn't end there as Rodman and Malone tangled, literally, in the NBA Finals.

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"That's mostly true," said Eric Bischoff when asked by TMZ if Rodman was instructed to provoke Malone during the Finals. "But, you've got to put it into context. What I said to Dennis, not to Karl, 'Hey Dennis, if anything were to happen off-court -- while there's a timeout, while there's no gameplay -- if you guys happen to rough it up a little bit towards the sidelines or look like you're going to and establish that intent so that the 'feud,' if you will, is real on a 360-degree basis and not just what happens on our television show, that wouldn't piss me off at all. It was kind of subtle, but clear. I did it in a way to be hands-off and make sure it didn't interrupt gameplay. I was happy to see it, lets put it that way. "

Bischoff went on to say that Malone appearing wasn't a sure bet when "The Worm" and "The Mailman" got into it during Game 6. They were pushing for Karl to come in and there had been discussions, but nothing was made official.

When asked about his reaction to seeing Rodman and Malone tangle on the court, Bischoff said, "I chuckled like a little kid because it accomplished so much. As a wrestling producer, to be able to create -- however subtle I did it -- that played out on a platform so huge as the NBA playoffs was really satisfying."

Bischoff noted that it was Rodman's decision to skip practice as well.

In an interview with Dan Bernstein, Bischoff discussed the benefit of having Rodman on Nitro in the Finals. You can find his full comments by clicking here.

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