Although he made tremendous noise in last night’s L.A. showdown with LeBron and drew comparisons with Sir Charles, Zion’s overall presence and play could, to a certain degree, remind all 1990s NBA fans to a fellow by the name of – Rodney Rodgers!
Coming in as a #9 overall pick by the Denver Nuggets in 1993 NBA draft, rookie forward from Wake Forrest was relatively unknown. But it didn’t take too long for athletic Rogers to show flashes of brilliance coming off the bench for coach Dan Issel’s squad and make a name for himself in the league!
Playing for young and exciting Nuggets led by guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and center Dikembe Mutombo, Rogers was the one who would come off the bench. Nevertheless, he provided quality minutes on both forward spots, leading the charge for the Nuggets with his great mix of inside and out moves.
Already as a rookie, he proved that he could shoot the lights out if given an opportunity. On the other hand, if you checked him on the perimeter, he would use the extra dribble and lightning-fast first step to blow past by you for a lefty lay-up or thunderous slam dunk.
Just like Zion, 6’7″ Rogers also had freakish athleticism and leaping ability during his respective era, but weighed only around 235lbs(106kg), compared to Williamson’s 290lbs.(129kg)!
After a couple of initial seasons with Nuggets, Rogers would switch cold mountains of Colorado for California’s eternal sun, showcasing all of his skills and versatility for the L.A. Clippers.
A definite highlight of his career came while versatile forward was playing for the Suns in 1999/2000 when he was voted as NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. Rogers would stretch his NBA career well into the 2000s, ending the career journey with a total 347 starts in 2004/05, while with 76ers.
Unfortunately, less than four years after his NBA career was over, Rogers was involved in a dirt bike accident. Subsequently, he is paralyzed from the shoulders down as a result of that accident.