Dennis Rodman is one of the NBA’s most polarizing figures. His ability to make plays on the court was often overlooked by his persona off it. However, there’s no denying how dominant he could be on the court, especially on the defensive end.
Career in Detroit
The Detroit Pistons drafted Rodman in the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft. He was a skinny defender who fit in with the tough persona the team was known for. As a rookie, he averaged just six points and four rebounds per game.
Soon, he would grow as a rebounder and make the first of two All-Star appearances with the team in 1990. He really took off at the age of 30, as he averaged over 18 rebounds per game in 1992, the first of seven rebounding titles for him.
Rodman would spend two seasons in San Antonio before heading to the Bulls in 1995.
Career with Chicago
Michael Jordan returned to Chicago after a brief retirement, and with the addition of Rodman, the Bulls were clearly one of the favorites to win the NBA championship. Rodman didn’t disappoint, averaging over 15 rebounds per game in his three seasons with the Bulls. He was a pivotal part of the team securing their second three-peat of the decade.
Rodman was so good on the glass he averaged over 15 rebounds per game for six out of seven seasons between 1991 and 1998. During his career, he won five NBA championships, two Defensive Player of the Year Awards, made eight All-Defensive teams, and was named to the All-NBA team twice.
Is Dennis Rodman the greatest rebounder ever?
Rodman should be considered one of the best rebounders in NBA history simply due to his stats compared to other great NBA players. He sits at 23rd on the all-time leading rebounders list (NBA players only) with 11,954. For his career, he averaged 13 rebounds per game. That is currently 11th all time.
While these are respectable numbers, they fail to land him among other legends of the game. It should be noted, however, that Rodman played during one of the most physical eras of the NBA.
What made Dennis Rodman a great rebounder?
Rodman’s best attributes when it came to rebounding were his effort, tenacity, and smart basketball IQ. It was rare to see Rodman out of position for a loose ball, easily winning battles for rebounds over centers with significant height advantages.
He also didn’t back down from a challenge. Of course, this is obvious as he averaged over double-digit rebounds for the last 10 seasons of his career.
Other great rebounders
When it comes to securing a board off the glass, the two players who quickly come to mind for most NBA fans are Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.
Chamberlain was simply a physical marvel who towered over almost everyone in the league and sits as the NBA’s all-time leading rebounder with 23,924.
Russell was also known as a major defensive presence, and during his time helping lead the Celtics dynasty he pulled down 21,620 rebounds.
Other big-time rebounders ahead of Rodman on the all-time list include Hakeem Olajuwon (13,748) and Tim Duncan (15,091).
Is Dennis Rodman an underrated rebounder?
Do you think Dennis Rodman should be considered one of the best rebounders in NBA history? It’s hard to find more players with his ability to hustle for loose balls, attack the glass, and keep his position in the paint.
If you want more news and notes regarding the game’s all-time greats be sure to check out our NBA section.