Dennis Rodman’s career was pretty spectacular when you consider how he got to the NBA and what he accomplished in his long career. What I truly believe is that he is the best pure rebounder the game has ever seen, especially when you consider he was only 6’7″.
Rodman led the league in rebounding for 7 straight years and he his career average is 13 rebounds per game. Despite his natural ability to position himself at the right time in the right place, Dennis also had a high basketball IQ and understood the concept of team basketball very well. He was a guy who understood rebounds and defense better than anyone and he could fit perfectly in a system that asked only that of him and it helped teams win basketball games.
A perfect example of that type of game happened during his time with the San Antonio Spurs in 1993. It was a regular season game at the beginning of the season against Charlotte Hornets who had a really strong and talented team with Mourning, Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues. It wasn’t a high scoring game and Rodman was one of the main reasons why the Spurs won that game.
He played 45 minutes that night and grabbed 28 rebounds while at the same time scoring zero points. The Spurs won that game 92-88 and it will be noted as one of the purest examples on how a player can completely dominate the entire game while doing one thing, but doing it a lot better than anyone else on the floor like Rodman did. He was a master of timing and he had the tenacity to go after every rebound both on defense and offense.
The stat line from this game can be seen on the basketball reference website and it’s also worth noting he had help that game from the Admiral who scored 31 points and carried the team offensively. Dennis Rodman averaged 17 rebounds and only 5 per game that season for the Spurs.
No wonder Isiah Thomas called Rodman a “rebounding genius” and if you followed his career you would remember he always approached the game in the right way and did his job. The game against the Hornets in 1993 is a perfect example of that.