Is Dennis Rodman Worthy of Being a Basketball Hall of Famer?

Taylor SmithAnalyst IAugust 24, 2009

This photo sums up Dennis Rodman as a basketball player in a nutshell.

Rodman, at 6'8", was a tenacious rebounder, defender, and competitor. 

His oddball lifestyle off the court may hurt him in terms of his basketball legacy.

A five-time NBA champion in six NBA Finals appearances, he was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year twice, a seven-time NBA All-Defensive First Teamer, an All-Defensive Second Teamer, a two-time All-NBA Third Teamer, a two-time All-Star, and won seven consecutive league rebounding titles. 

He also led the league in field goal percentage in 1989 with the Detroit Pistons.

While Rodman's offensive game was essentially non-existent, (his career high was 11.6 points per game during his sophomore NBA season) he averaged 13.1 rebounds per game for his career, good for 11th all-time in the NBA.

Rodman played for the Pistons, Spurs, Bulls, Lakers, and Mavericks over the course of 14 seasons.

From 1990 through 2000 (the last season of his career), Rodman never averaged fewer than 11.2 rebounds per game.

During a four-year stretch, he averaged 18.7, 18.3, 17.3, and 16.8 rebounds per game.

For perspective, Orlando's Dwight Howard led the NBA in rebounding this past season, averaging 13.8 rebounds a night.

"The Worm" shares an NBA Finals record with 11 offensive rebounds in a single game, having done it twice during the 1996 Finals as a member of the Bulls.

His single-game career high for rebounds is 34. 

Dennis Rodman is arguably the best rebounding forward in NBA history, yet his lack of offensive talent combined with his well-documented, bizarre antics off the court keep him from being mentioned with the rest of the NBA's greatest players.

Even though he may be more well-known for his tattoos, dyed hair, piercings, and wedding dresses, there's no question that Rodman is one of the premier "hard-nosed" players to ever play the game.

They say defense wins championships.

Rodman played defense.

Rodman won five championships.

So, is Dennis Rodman Basketball Hall of Fame material?