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Mike Tyson Opens Up on Life, Career; Out-of-Control Coach Lambastes Team; Dennis Rodman Returns to North Korea; Identifying Problems with Dallas Cowboys; Surprising Turnaround for Miami Dolphins

Aired December 20, 2013 - 22:30   ET



ANNOUNCER: Tonight on UNGUARDED WITH RACHEL NICHOLS, unvarnished. Mike Tyson confesses how being the baddest man on the planet left him empty inside.

MIKE TYSON, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BOXER: I don't like the person I was back then. Even all that money, all that success I had, I couldn't get anything done. My kids never saw me. I was a horrible father.

ANNOUNCER: Unexpected.

TREVOR PRYCE, TWO-TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPION: Where can you find a Super Bowl champion like me and a hip-hop artist like him talking about Dennis Rodman in North Korea?


ANNOUNCER: Unstoppable. Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace with the inside story of how Miami went from a locker room bullying scandal to being poised for a play offer.

RACHEL NICHOLS, HOST: Your team has had one of the more controversial seasons on record in the NFL.

MIKE WALLACE, MIAMI DOLPHINS: We had a lot of people who wanted to see us fail, trying to bury us. We just had to take an us against the world mentality.



You don't have to be a boxing fan to be fascinated by Mike Tyson. In the '80s and '90s, he rose quicker, hit harder and crashed bigger than it almost seemed possible, spending three years in jail on a rape charge and burning through a reported $300 million.

But now, at 47, Tyson is attempting rehabilitation with a new book and, of all things, a very successful one-man stage show.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TYSON: You have to face it. You hear me, Mike? Because if you don't, they'll follow you to eternity. And you remember, Mike, you fight your fight. Because the way you fight your fight is the way you live your life.

NICHOLS: You're a Broadway star now.

TYSON: Well, I've been called worse, I agree.

NICHOLS: Twenty years ago, if I had said to you, of all the things that you might do with your life, would you believe you'd be headlining a show on Broadway?

TYSON: No, but I'm glad I am. I enjoy it. I love it. I'm really a serious guy. When I'm performing, I like to perform. I like to evoke feelings from people.

This guy right here, is my father. Curly Kirkpatrick. Wait a minute, he's my father, then who the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is this? This gets tricky, right?

NICHOLS: You grew up in a bad section of Brooklyn. You had a rough upbringing. How rough is rough?

TYSON: Drug-infested, gang-infested, crime-infested, no hope. Brownville, Brooklyn, Just no hope. Just slum dwellers.

NICHOLS: How many times were you arrested as a kid?

TYSON: Quite a few times. Over 30 times, quite a few times, over 40 times.

NICHOLS: What? By what age?

TYSON: By the time I was 12.

NICHOLS: How do you deal with going from that to being a guy who, when you're only 20 years old, you're the heavyweight champion of the world. And once you get there, how difficult is it to deal with?

TYSON: Well, that's true. Money is a false sense of security. It makes you somewhat believe that you can't even die. And at some point it makes you even turn into a coward.

This is what I know. People are not born humble. Human beings have to be humbled in order to really appreciate the value of life.

NICHOLS: Sports is interesting, because you can measure it. Right? Or We don't know the best singer, actor or politician but we know who the fastest guy in the world is. What was it like for you, knowing "I can hit someone better than anyone else. I'm the best boxer in the world of 7 billion people." Was it a rush?

TYSON: Well, at one time it was, and then it's just a job.

NICHOLS: So you get kind of jaded to it? TYSON: Very jaded.

NICHOLS: Really? When you were at the height of your boxing career, you were knocking guys out in 30, 40 seconds. Heavyweight title fight, 91 seconds.

TYSON: I know. But I don't like that time of my life. I don't like the person I was back then. All that money and success I had, I couldn't get anything done. My kids never saw me. I was a horrible father. I'm accomplishing so much, getting so much done now as a human being than I could have ever done during the time of my fighting career.

NICHOLS: Were you surprised you never killed anyone in the ring?

TYSON: I'm surprised no one ever killed me either. So I'm just glad things turned out the way they did.

There's nobody that can beat me.

NICHOLS: At one point, you had a lot of money.

TYSON: Yes, I did.

NICHOLS: How much money? Did you have any sense?

TYSON: I don't know, but I had a lot of money. A lot of money. I couldn't fathom the zeroes. A lot of zeroes. I just don't count that good anyway.

NICHOLS: Do you miss having that much money?

TYSON: No, no. I'm pretty set. I'm pretty good. It just put a lot of demons in me. I'm not one of those guy that should have too much goodies and stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no celebration here today. I mean, a woman was raped, and a hero has been convicted of rape.

NICHOLS: You have maintained from day one you did not rape Desiree Washington. When you were going through the trial, what was it like when you felt like you had an account of things and nobody would believe you?

TYSON: An empty feeling. We live in a world -- the world we live in, negative stereotypes, you know, if you're black and strong, you're a rapist. If you're Italian, and you've got a beautiful suit on, you're a mobster. And if you're Jewish and you're bright, you attack cheap. And normally people in those circumstances people, they're guilty before they really -- the trial begins. And that's just one of the stereotypes I was stuck with.


NICHOLS: Even now, a very opinionated Mike Tyson. And we've got much more of him after the break. Tyson reveals to me exactly what was he thinking when he bit Evander Holyfield's ear.

And also, a basketball coach goes on a rant you are going to have to hear to believe.


BARRY HINSON, COACH, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: How can you go two for 11? My wife, my wife could score more than two buckets on 11 shots.



NICHOLS: I'm Rachel Nichols, and welcome back to UNGUARDED.

You know, I remember very clearly being a young reporter in 1997, covering the fight where Mike Tyson met Evander Holyfield for the world heavyweight title. At that point, none of us thought there was much Tyson could do to shock people. And then I watched him bite off part of Holyfield's ear.


TYSON: Evander, I'm sorry. You're a champion, and I respect that. And I'm only saddened that the fight didn't go on further that -- for that the boxing fans of the world might have seen for themselves who would come out on top.

NICHOLS: When you look back on it now, what do you think?

TYSON: Well, I'm sorry I bit his ear. I really am sorry I bit his ear. Because I like Evander. He's a good guy. Really good guy. But he was butting me on a few occasions, and I was getting frustrated. And the referee didn't really call any of the head butts. And even though I was undisciplined, I suppose shouldn't have bit him, but it was the only way I could get any kind of relief.

NICHOLS: You did a commercial recently with him where you gave back the ear.

TYSON: I'm sorry, Evander. It's your ear.

NICHOLS: Was it a fun commercial to do? Do you believe that you're joking about something about this now after all of this, after being treated like the world was ending?

TYSON: You know, almost won the pitch, wanted me biting the ear. It's a big joke now.


CHELSEA HANDLER, COMEDIAN/LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: So, when you had to take your drug test, that you took out a fake penis?


HANDLER: And how does that work?

TYSON: It works really effectively.

NICHOLS: When you look back on it, how bad would you say your drug and alcohol problems were?

TYSON: Bad enough where I had to go to a center. Rehab.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Tyson, you are charged with one count of possession of narcotic drugs.

NICHOLS: How do you keep it under control now?

TYSON: I just don't have any urges now. It's been four months and I haven't had any urges. So I guess I'm winning so far. I know what I'm responsible for, because this is the bigger fight. This is the fight that I'm taking with open arms. This is really an interesting battle.


TYSON: This is my favorite part coming up right now.

NICHOLS: For a lot of people, the "Hangover" movie was a real turning point. It was an endearing performance. The part in the movie about you having a tiger as a pet, that's true.

TYSON: Yes, I had a few tigers.

NICHOLS: I feel like a tiger is a pet you can't just throw them in the backseat like a dog and have its head go out the window and go for a drive. Right?

TYSON: That's not true. You could. You could, you could. They don't like the wind. Unlike dogs, dogs like -- they don't like the wind hitting them in the face.

NICHOLS: So you can go for a drive with your pet tiger, just don't open the window.

TYSON: Well, just crack it a little. They pass gas, you're going to all die. You know, so you don't want to...

NICHOLS: This could be your next book: an advice book for people with tigers as pets.

TYSON: I don't think that's going to go over well.



NICHOLS: You got into boxing promotion.

TYSON: Yes, this is pretty interesting. Me, a boxing promoter.

NICHOLS: How are you doing it differently than the guys who promoted you?

TYSON: I make sure my guys get their money at the end of the day and they won't have to worry about they have their lawyers. They have to be responsible, like I wasn't. I wasn't responsible.

NICHOLS: What is the best advice that you can give these guys?

TYSON: Just have a lawyer and forget everyone else. Your lawyer is your groupie. Just hang out with your lawyer.

NICHOLS: I started out by asking you about the Mike Tyson from 20 years ago, if he could have predicted this Mike Tyson. So what do you think of the Mike Tyson 20 years from now? Do you know where you'll be?

TYSON: Man, man, that's going to be frightening. Twenty years from now, God. A grandfather. It will be pretty interesting. I just hope I'm around to meet that guy.


NICHOLS: All right. Self-control, or a lack of it, has been a constant theme in Mike Tyson's life. And earlier this week, we saw someone else struggling with restraint, as well.

This is Southern Illinois University basketball coach Barry Hinson after a loss dropped his team to a 2-8 record.


HINSON: I'm struggling with this crew right now. They won't let me coach them. Marcus had an off game. Marcus was absolutely awful.

And let's talk about our big guys, 2 for 11. How can you go 2 for 11? My wife, my wife can score more than two buckets on 11 shots, because I know my wife will at least shot fake one time. But those guys aren't listening. They're uncoachable right now.


NICHOLS: Joining me to talk about Hinson's rant and much more going on this week in sports, I want to introduce my panel: former star, two-time Super Bowl champion Trevor Pryce, and rapper and star of the hit show "Love and Hip Hop," Joe Budden.

All right, guys. This program is about bringing people together who come from different perspectives. And I want your different perspectives on this rant. I mean, is this harmless?

BUDDEN: I wouldn't go with harmless. It came off extremely immature. It seemed like he was a novice. He's since apologized to the players he called out.

PRYCE: I've been called out in the media by Mike Shanahan before. And you have to realize, coaches do it to whoever they think can handle it. So I'm guessing the kids that he called out are probably his best players.

NICHOLS: You're talking now with the perspective of sitting here retired with two rings on your finger. At the time, were you pissed off?

PRYCE: Absolutely. But when Mike Shanahan canceled me a year later, he said, "Listen, I did that because you can handle it." But again, it was like we are paying you the most amount of money on this team. We also expect a certain standard from you.

BUDDEN: You were already an adult.

PRYCE: There you go.

BUDDEN: These are still kids. These are still 17-, 18-year- olds.

PRYCE: But there's a very fine line between college and pro athletics. The coverage is the same. The TV money is about the same. The national...

NICHOLS: What's the difference if they're 22 and they're a rookie in the NFL...

PRYCE: Exactly.

NICHOLS: ... or 21 and in college?

PRYCE: Exactly. Or 16, like was, when I went to college. There's no difference except they're getting paid.

BUDDEN: But not if you're a college head coach. These are kids. And he has to never forget that. While the line is thin for the rest of us, his head has to remain the same. He's also -- he's nurturing talent in them.

NICHOLS: One of the things that he called them was momma's boys. And I want to show you this tweet from one of his players, Davante Drinkard. He actually called the coach out on Twitter the next day. He said, "I can't believe the little man" -- that's how he referred to his coach -- "had the nerve to call us momma's boys. Shaking my head. I guess this is where our team learns to point the finger."

PRYCE: In effect a college player can call his coach a "little man"? It is a professional environment.

NICHOLS: But isn't it interesting that the player says, this kid says, "I guess this is where our team learns to point the finger." That goes to your point: these are kids learning from an adult.

BUDDEN: Once you start talking about specific individuals, you know, then you take it to a different level.

NICHOLS: All right, guys. Coming right up after the break, we're also going to go inside the Miami Dolphin's practice facility. Star receiver Mike Wallace is going to reveal how his team rebounded from all that controversy over locker room bullying.


WALLACE: There was a lot going on, but I think the guys did a great job.



NICHOLS: Welcome back to UNGUARDED. We're going pick up where we left off with my panel: two-time Super Bowl winner, FOX Sports analyst Trevor Pryce, and hip-hop artist Joe Budden.

Guys, we want to talk a little bit about Dennis Rodman. He arrived in North Korea yesterday. Rodman struck up an unusual friendship with the country's dictator, Kim Jong-un. Yes, this is the man who last week had his uncle executed for treason. Rodman has said of Kim, quote, "I love the guy. He's awesome."

Meanwhile, the United Nations recently accused the North Korean government of, quote, "unspeakable atrocities." And Dennis Rodman is going over there and talking about love. What is he thinking?

PRYCE: Does anybody think that Dennis Rodman is going over to North Korea for free? That's not what he's doing. He's being paid to come over there. The moment those checks stop coming, I guarantee he doesn't going back.

BUDDEN: But I mean, this is not the first time that Dennis Rodman's judgment has been called into effect. I stick to a simple motto. It's trying to figure out crazy will make you crazy.

PRYCE: Right. Right. Right.

BUDDEN: This seems to be really insane.

PRYCE: Right.

NICHOLS: His claim is that sports is a way of bringing people together.

PRYCE: He is lying. I'm going to tell you right now, he has to be lying. Because in today's news cycle, there's no way he cannot know what's going on. I mean, is he going to read some of this stuff that you just read and say, "Oh, my God! I didn't know that was happening"? Of course not.

NICHOLS: He's crazy but...

PRYCE: He's not stupid; he's a grown up.

NICHOLS: Is this a case of, hey, if an athlete gets involved politically, but we just don't like what he's saying, then we're critical? PRYCE: If you're looking at -- if you're trying to say, OK, we need more athletes to be activists. That's not going to happen. I have yet to see it in the 14 years I played NFL, good or bad, I have yet to see somebody stand up and say, "Hey, I'm going to take a stand one way or another" on something that's very important. It's one thing to say, OK, we're going to give some shoes to, you know, kids that don't do this, that and another. It's something different to say -- to take a stance on North Korea.

BUDDEN: I think -- I think people are going to be critical either way. Like I come from, I was in tune with what he was saying. I try not to -- my religious beliefs, you know, I try to keep all of that to myself, because it becomes very -- it becomes very tricky at that point.

NICHOLS: You have a lot of people who follow whatever you say.

PRYCE: Right.

NICHOLS: Do you feel any obligation at any point to take a stand on some of these things?

PRYCE: Now that I've moved from -- from the field to this part of it, now I can say whatever the hell I want. Before, I was paid for a performance. My opinion had nothing to do with anything.

NICHOLS: All right. We're going to switch gears here, because I do want to ask you, how about them Cowboys? Last week, Dallas simply collapsed, blowing a 23-point halftime lead, losing to Green Bay. And what did Jerry Jones, the team's owner -- and of course, GM, don't forget that -- what did he have to say afterward?


JERRY JONES, COWBOYS OWNER (via phone): I really do think that the way things have rolled out, that I'm getting some of the best work I have done, relatively speaking, in my career.


NICHOLS: OK, guys. So Jerry Jones is on the radio saying, "This is some of the best work I have done."

BUDDEN: What should he say?

NICHOLS: The truth.

BUDDEN: This is the worst work of my career.

PRYCE: Because it really is. Quite honestly, the Cowboys, no matter what they do from a Super Bowl standpoint, winning standpoint, Jerry Jones has won. I mean, look at the monstrosity he built down in Dallas.

NICHOLS: No one is rooting for the stadium. PRYCE: No one's rooting for the stadium, but Jerry -- Jerry Jones as an owner, as a businessman, is winning. You have to understand that. You think he's losing that much sleep at night because he can't beat the Packers?


PRYCE: No. I believe he's not. Else he wouldn't have spent a billion dollars on a stadium.

BUDDEN: Jerry Jones wants to do everything. He wants to be the only person to do everything.

PRYCE: Right.

BUDDEN: Which is why, you know, you say, Trevor, is he losing any sleep? But I think Jerry Jones is probably egotistical to the point where, you know, he does want to get the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl.

PRYCE: Of course.

BUDDEN: He just wants to do it his way, which will not get them there.

PRYCE: Right. Right. That is a factual statement; that's not an opinion. It will not get them -- the way they're doing things is not how you get there. Only one team wins the Super Bowl every year.


PRYCE: One team. So the rest of them, are the other 31 losers? No, Jerry Jones is winning.

NICHOLS: Do you think that the Cowboys can win a Super Bowl with Tony Romo?

PRYCE: Yes. Yes, with him. But with Jerry Jones running the team, no. You have to point the finger at somebody else other than Tony Romo.

BUDDEN: If this was going on on the field, you have to start at the top.

PRYCE: You know how to fix it: fire yourself.

NICHOLS: That is probably not going to happen.

PRYCE: There you go.

NICHOLS: We'll send him a card with your suggestion. I like that. Well, guys, that's going to have to be it for today. But thank you so much.

PRYCE: Absolutely. NICHOLS: Right after the break, we're going to talk to Miami Dolphins star, Mike Wallace. We're going to ask how his team worked their way back into playoff contention after nearly being ripped apart by the Jonathan Martin bullying controversy.


NICHOLS: Welcome back. I'm Rachel Nichols.

In this topsy-turvy NFL season, no team has had a stranger year than the Miami Dolphins, a club that last month was nearly overwhelmed by the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito bullying scandal. But oh, how things change.

Martin and Incognito are gone. And a mediocre team that was in the midst of a four-game losing streak when the scandal broke has since gone on a 4-1 tear. In fact, the Dolphins now control their own play-off destiny.

Earlier, I spoke with star receiver Mike Wallace, asking him just how Miami pulled this off.


WALLACE: It was a tough time, just because we had to stick together more than ever. We had a lot of people, you know, wanted to see us fail and trying to bury us. But we just had to take the "us against the world" mentality. There was a lot going on, but I think guys did a great job.

NICHOLS: That's easier said than done. What were those conversation between players or with the coaching staff that helped you refocus and move forward?

WALLACE: It was just enough was enough. It kind of took away from the team for a couple days, but then guys, you know, just knew we had to put all that aside.

NICHOLS: Yes, and last weekend, you guys had that thrilling win over the Patriots. And now you go into these last two weeks of the season controlling your own destiny to make the playoffs. How good are you capable of being?

WALLACE: We can be as good as we want to be. We can be as good as any team in the league. We definitely have the guys, the personnel to do it, the coaches to do it. We just have to execute the game plan. We definitely have the players. If there's one thing we don't lack, it's players.

NICHOLS: What about you in particular? You signed the prize: free-agent deal this past season, five years, $60 million. It's great for people to want you that badly, but what pressure does it put on athletes? Because we see it all the time in all sports when you are the one with the big contract and the expectations.

WALLACE: You just have to be ready for it. You know, you've got to know that, you know, if you have a slow start like I did, people are going to be on you. They're going to say this and that. But you just have to stay focused. Definitely a lot of pressure.

NICHOLS: Minnesota, the Vikings actually offered you more money, about $76 million to go there. But you chose Miami. Knowing what you know now, all the ups, all the downs, all the controversy, everything, would you still make the same decision again?

WALLACE: I don't know if it was that much, that much of a difference.

NICHOLS: Well, my source says your father, Mike...

WALLACE: Y'all can't be listening to my dad. Sometimes he goes a little overboard.

But I love my teammates here. I love being down here. So I definitely would make the same decision if I could do it all over again.


NICHOLS: All right. A big thanks to you, Mike. And don't worry: I still like your dad.

All right. That is it all for us here tonight. But you can follow me on Twitter, like us on Facebook or visit us on the Web:

We're going to be on holiday hiatus the next two weeks. But join us again in January for a whole new slate of shows here at UNGUARDED, where the end of the game is just the start of the story.

Good night.