I was going through past defensive players of the year in the NBA when I realized something: Dennis Rodman belongs in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Many people only remember or know of Rodman as the man who tried to marry himself or the person who kicked a photographer in the groin. However, Rodman actually has one of the better NBA resumes.
He has five NBA Championship rings and was undoubtedly one of, if not, the best rebounder the game has ever seen and also one of the best defensive players. Before he went all crazy, he was a solid player for the bad boy Piston teams that won back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990. Not only was he a rebounding force for those teams but he also helped slow down Michael Jordan during that time.
After the Pistons team was blown up, he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs and was his usual self on the court playing with an intensity so rarely seen in the NBA ever since he left. It was during this time that Rodman started to colour his hair after watching Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man.
From that point on, he began to do more and more crazy things off the court. On the hardwood, he and David Robinson took the Spurs to the 1995 Western Conference Finals before losing to the eventual champs, the Houston Rockets. Even though Robinson had been man handled by Olajuwon during that series, Rodman became the scapegoat for the city and the franchise and was eventually traded.
During his time in San Antonio, however, he did help David Robinson get a MVP award, as Rodman did all the dirty work while Robinson got the glory.
He was then traded to MJ's Bulls in October of 1995 and these were the years the majority of people remember him from because it was during this time that he truly blew up off the court.
On the court, he took a backseat to Jordan and Pippen and did all the little things that Phil Jackson wanted without complaining. He was a beast on the glass and an absolute shut down defender as well. He helped the team win three more consecutive titles and become the dominant team of the '90's. .
Soon after the second three-peat, the Bulls team was disbanded and Rodman spent some minor time with both the LA Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks before falling out of the NBA.
Statistically, he put up some of the biggest rebounding numbers in NBA history. He averaged 18.7 rpg in 1992 and 18.3 rpg in 1993. For a player to average 18 rpg is simply ludicrous.
From 1992-1998, his lowest rebounding average for one season was 14.90. What makes these numbers more astounding is the fact no player has hit the 15rpg mark in recent memory. In 1992, he set a personal record by grabbing 34 rebounds in one game with 18 of them being on the offensive glass.
Dennis Rodman was a straight prolific rebounder and one of the better defensive players in NBA history. The Worm could defend bigger players in the post as well as quicker players on the perimeter. Not to mention that he did all this while only being 6'8.
Dennis Rodman Resume
- Five Time NBA Champion (1989, 1990, 1996-1998)
- Two Time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1990, 1991)
- Two Time NBA All-Star (1990, 1992)
- NBA All-Defensive First Team (1989-1993, 1995, 1996)
- NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1994)
- All-NBA Third Team (1992, 1995)
- NBA Top Rebounds Per Game (1992-1998)