Archive 75

Dennis Rodman

By Shaun Powell·

Dennis Rodman’s highlights and plays are like none other. That’s because Rodman played like none other. He made rebounds exciting. He made floor burns exciting. He made the routine seem unusual, much like his hair, much like his persona. To get an idea of what Rodman was like in his Hall-of-Fame career, well, nobody can actually explain that. But the highlights give the best clues about a 6-foot-8 forward who played on the edge, who brought glamour to the dirty work, who dove for loose balls with Greg Louganis-like flair.

Archive 75: dennis Rodman

So witness the Dennis Rodman Experience, and watch out for a flying body.

From a basketball standpoint, Rodman came from nothing. He didn’t play high school ball. He wasn’t a five-star prospect. Actually, he wasn’t a prospect at all -- he was an airport janitor after high school graduation. He had no idea where basketball would take him because, other than pickup games in his hometown Dallas, basketball didn’t dominate his life as it did for so many others who eventually landed in the Hall of Fame. Here, Rodman gives some insight into his past and how it created the desire to build his future.

Archive 75: Dennis Rodman

Have you ever seen a player get a career scoring high without a single play run for him? And a player who normally doesn’t demand the ball anyway? Well, early in his career, Rodman scored 32 points against the Warriors and did so the Rodman Way, with second-chance baskets, offensive put-backs and by out-hustling everyone down the floor for layups. Here’s a rare look at Rodman as an offensive force.

Rodman was an entertainer, which is a hard label to earn when you don’t score. But the joy he brought the game and the enthusiasm he unleashed nightly was a testament to his hard work and his love for the game. 

By displaying this joy, Rodman became popular and earned a following and built himself into a special brand.

The paths of the Pistons and Rodman changed in 1989-90 when Rodman was named a starter. Until then, he was an energizer off the bench. But when coach Chuck Daly made the move, Rodman was more than eager to prove him right, which he did. Rodman sizzled in the new role and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

On a January night in 1991 when everything worked for him, Rodman topped his previous career high by a hoop, scoring 34 points against the Nuggets in a variety of ways, mainly through hustle. But on this night, even his jump shots fell. That 34-point total seemed to obscure his 23 rebounds. Here, Rodman shows the amazing athletic ability that put him in position to enjoy a big night, where he seemed to be everyplace at once.

Archive 75: Dennis Rodman

Rodman enjoyed the kind of second NBA career that few experience. He won a pair of championships in Detroit as a key member of “The Bad Boys.” After a two seasons in San Antonio, Rodman was dealt to Chicago in 1995, where he became the missing piece on a team that had Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. 

It was Superman, Batman and Rodman, and these Bulls were almost unbeatable, winning 72 of 82 games in 1995-96, Rodman’s first season there.

With Rodman in tow, the Bulls would win three consecutive titles (1996-98), with Rodman averaging 15.3 rebounds per game over that stretch. In this emotional interview, Rodman reveals his inner self as he reflects on his unlikely and robust career.

Dennis Rodman with Los Angeles Lakers

In this recap of Rodman’s career, there is this comment: 'Rodman dedicated himself to disrupting and frustrating the opposition.' And this: 'He doesn’t have to score a basket to make an impact.' The true essence of Dennis Rodman was his effort and desire to flourish despite lacking the offensive skill that defined so many other Hall of Famers. In that sense, Rodman succeeded in ways nobody else could, and in ways nobody could ever imagine.