Ahead-of-his-time style and skill.
After a standout career at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in which he led the NAIA in scoring and rebounding, the Detroit Pistons drafted Rodman in the second round of the 1986 draft. He joined their crew of blue-collar, hard-nosed players to help birth the “Bad Boys” era of the franchise. In that time, the Pistons would rise to the Eastern Conference's elite and secure back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990.
Nicknamed “The Worm” for his ability to come out of a crowd with the ball, Rodman’s defensive excellence was recognized as he was named Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back campaigns (1990 and '91).
Rodman, a seven-time rebounding champ, began an absurd six-season run where he led the league in rebound average, including a career-high 18.7 rebounds per game in 1991-92. He averaged 17.3 rpg in 1993-94, his first of two seasons in San Antonio.
It was his time on the Spurs where Rodman’s personality began to flourish. He began getting his signature tattoos as well as experimenting with his hair, crossing over into a pop culture phenomenon.
The next phase of Rodman’s career was eminent. A move to Chicago elevated an already excellent team into a legendary squad. The quartet of Rodman, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson led the Bulls to a 72-10 record in 1995-96, the first year of the Bulls' second "three-peat" that decade.
The Bulls would all go their separate ways after ‘98, with Rodman spending parts of his last two seasons with the Lakers and Mavericks. After his basketball career was over, Rodman’s celebrity flame still flickered bright, with many appearances in movies and television.
Rodman was one of just 4 players to wear No. 91, the number he is probably most recognized by due to his success in Chicago, but he began his career wearing the No. 10 in Detroit, which retired his jersey in 2011.