Player Focus – Dennis Rodman
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One of the most controversial athletes of all-time, Dennis Rodman has been an enigma both on and off the court. While he is more known because of his off court antics than his basketball skills, he is considered one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball. He is unique in that while he does not have the talent to score baskets in bunches, he still impacts the game in other ways that help his team win. Let’s take a look at what makes The Worm one of the best basketball players ever.
While Rodman is a bit challenged on the offensive end of the game, he more than makes it up for it with his excellent defense. He excels at both team defense, and one on one situations. What’s more remarkable is his uncanny ability to defend virtually any position. He is fast enough to defend guards and strong enough to defend big men. Perhaps one of his most popular display of defensive ability was when he guarded Shaquille O’Neal. Despite weighing about almost 100 lbs. less, he more than carried his own and did a great job in defending Shaq.
The most well-known aspect of Rodman’s game is his rebounding. He once led the league in rebounding for seven straight seasons. Imagine him doing that while only standing at 6’8″, battling towering centers and power forwards every night. He does t with his almost flawless timing and amazing athleticism and stamina. His 2nd jump is just as high as his 1st jump, giving him the advantage when relentlessly chasing rebounds.
The main reason that The Worm has dominated games with his rebounding and defense is his unbelievable athleticism. We’re not talking about jumping ability or strength, but speed and quickness. His vertical leap is not that high, but he can jump consecutive times with almost the same height. His speed has given him the ability to defend small and fast guards while his quickness allows him to get to the ball first in rebounding and loose ball situations. He is also a workhorse at the gym as his conditioning has always been top notch. Nobody has ever seen Rodman exhausted while playing.
Another underrated skill of Rodman’s is his superior basketball IQ. Due to his off court antics and bizarre behavior, one would not think of Rodman as a highly intelligent human being. Surprisingly, he is, at least basketball wise. He has studied the game thoroughly and knows what to do in any given situation. He understands his limitations and tries to help his team win to the best of his abilities.
Rodman may not have the talent for scoring as some of his peers, nor even the offensive skills, but he has more than made up for this with his rebounding, defense, basketball iq, and willingness to sacrifice his body each and every night. Probably the most amazing thing about him is that despite all the partying off the court, he still has the energy to give 100% every game without fail. This work ethic is why Rodman is one of the greatest payers to ever play the game.