Here’s a fun fact Dennis Rodman pointed out recently – Jordan, Pippen, and himself are all about the same size. We know Rodman was the rebounder, the enforcer, so we imagine him being bigger than Scottie and MJ. He explained his physicality didn’t come from size but passion for the game.
One of the most dominant rebounders in NBA history, Rodman combined intelligence and effort to best bigger players underneath the rim. He watched a lot of film to analyze his opponents. Positioning and boxing out is half a rebound, and Rodman knew the tendencies of all his matchups. But he didn’t stop there. He would analyze the shot of every outstanding shooter on the opposite team – how many rotations does the ball usually have when they shoot, where does it tend to bounce. All that knowledge was turned into rebounds with a quality Rodman says is most important for rebounding – effort.
“As far as rebounding, it’s more hard work than anything else. You have to look at film, you have to look at people, and just put everything on the line.”Dennis Rodman, via Pardon My Take
What made them one of the best trios in NBA history was that everyone perfected and committed to their role. MJ took care of the scoring, Pippen was the master defender, and Rodman took care of the rebounds and did all the dirty work. When he talks about it, you can see Rodman loved rebounding and blocking more than he did scoring.
“Michael was the scorer, Scottie was Robin, I was the guy that picked up the slack, all the dirty work. We complimented each other very well.”Dennis Rodman, via Pardon My Take
The Last Dance gave us the chance to see firsthand what many talked about when describing their off-court relationship. The three didn’t spend much time together off the court, and Rodman didn’t talk to them at all. They took so much pride in perfecting their role on the court; there was no need for a lot of off-court conversation.
“If you seeDennis Rodman, via Pardon My Take
tapeof us playing back in the day, we never really bitched at each other at all.”
All three could recognize they shared the drive and passion for being dominant, and that created trust that enabled them to lead the Bulls to their second three-peat.