In 1993, Dennis Rodman already established himself as one of the best defenders and rebounders in NBA history. After leaving the Detroit Pistons after seven seasons and 2 NBA championships, it was time for Rodman to change his surroundings, and he did that by joining the San Antonio Spurs. With David Robinson and a great supporting cast, the Spurs hoped to make the NBA Finals in a very competitive western conference.
Spurs wanted to pair The Admiral with another great defender and a rebounder especially considering Rodman led the league in rebounding for several years averaging 18.5 rebounds in his last two seasons with the Pistons. A big part of Rodman’s personality and demeanor was relentlessness and an incredible desire to give everything he has, no matter if it’s a regular-season game or a game 7 in the playoffs. That is the approach he wanted to bring to the Spurs in 1993, a virtue that not many players genuinely possess.
It doesn’t matter to me as long as I can walk, I’m alright, I’m going to play. I’m going to give you what I got. It doesn’t matter if I’m here; there doesn’t matter if I’m on the moon, I’m going to give 110 percent.Dennis Rodman, via Ryan Van Dusen
In the interview right before his first game against the Pistons, Rodman talked about what he wants to accomplish in the NBA from an individual perspective. Rodman was the king of rebounds, and snatching every miss from the opposing team was his primary goal. Getting 40 rebounds in one game was the ultimate individual goal Rodman wanted to accomplish, and that was the accolade he was chasing apart from more NBA championships.
I sure hope so; that would be the ultimate dream for me to give to my child. That is the only thing that would make my life worthwhile from here on. That is the goal you probably can’t achieve now in this game, but one day, its going to happen, and when I do get it that ball is mine. After that, I’m flying right to Sacramento and giving the ball to my child.Dennis Rodman, via Ryan Van Dusen
Unfortunately, Rodman never achieved a 40 rebound game, and his career-high was 34 rebounds in a game against the Indiana Pacers when he was still with the Pistons. He would have a great rebounding season with the Spurs averaging 17.3 rebounds per game, which is absurd when you put things in perspective.
After two unsuccessful seasons with the Spurs, Rodman joined the Chicago Bulls, in which he once again was the leading rebounder and a part of the most recognized and dominant teams in NBA history. Even though he never achieved his personal goal of 40 rebounds per game, his legacy is unique, considering he dominated the game without scoring, which is an accomplishment not many players could replicate to the same extent.