Dennis Rodman is not just the best rebounding player in the history of the league, but he is also one of the ten best power forwards of all time, according to a list compiled by ESPN.
From 1986 until 2000, Dennis Rodman played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks. Fourteen years in the NBA is a long time.
Dennis Rodman was a part of the Bad Boys when the Detroit Pistons won two NBA Championships. Rodman also claimed three more titles when he played with the Chicago Bulls. That’s not too bad from someone that was a janitor at the international airport in Dallas before going on to play at Southeast Oklahoma State, which is far from being a powerhouse.
His accomplishments were finally recognized by ESPN, which has been doing a series where they rank the ten greatest players at each of the five respective positions this entire week.
- Tim Duncan
- Karl Malone
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Charles Barkley
- Kevin Garnett
- Kevin McHale
- Bob Pettit
- Elvin Hayes
- Pau Gasol
- Dennis Rodman
Many NBA fans will probably want to argue about the inclusion of Dennis Rodman on this list because he wasn’t as prolific of a scorer as the all time greats, but Rodman does belong.
As a lock down defender, Dennis Rodman ranks as one of the best of all time in the NBA, regardless of what position is being discussed. He took a lot of pride on that side of the ball.
Dennis Rodman understood leverage better than most people, as he was able to use his 220 pound frame to battle Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone, a 260 pound piece of hardened rock. On the perimeter, Dennis Rodman was athletic enough to keep his man always in front of him, while also knowing how to target the ball as it is being dribbled by more quicker players.
Dennis Rodman had unbelievable vision on the basketball court, as he very rarely was in the wrong place on defense. He knew exactly where to rotate on each defensive possession. When it comes to rebounding the ball, Dennis Rodman had no peers, as his main goal on the basketball court was to grab every single ball that ricocheted off the rim and backboard.
Just like he uses leverage to defend players, Dennis Rodman also used leverage to get the right angles. Rodman kept opposing players from being able to get around him or over him.
Dennis Rodman was also a master of tipping a rebound to himself, a skill that was necessary because the Texas native stood just 6’8″ without having a lot of muscle mass behind him.
It didn’t take long for Dennis Rodman to realize that he was sub par when it came to shooting in the NBA, so he never felt inclined to do so. Rodman was fine with not shooting much. Of course, that didn’t mean that Dennis Rodman was useless on offense. His understanding of basketball is vastly underrated, as Rodman was intelligent enough to know where to be.
Ask former Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson and assistant coach Tex Winters about Dennis Rodman, and they would say he was one of the few masters of the Triangle Offense.
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were the offensive threats for the Chicago Bulls, so Dennis Rodman knew how to get out of their way. Rodman did not mind deferring whatsoever.
Since he wasn’t a great shooter, there was a fear that defensive players would sag off of Dennis Rodman, so he wisely learned how to use backdoor cuts to prevent that from happening.
Dennis Rodman was a smart player that knew his own strengths and weaknesses, which is why he is one of the best NBA players of all time.
[Featured Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images]