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Dennis Rodman is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the second straight year

Pistons and NBA great Dennis Rodman is once again on the NBA Hall of Fame ballot after appearing last year in his first year of eligibility. And for the second straight year, he faces long odds to get enshrined that have little to do with basketball. From NBA.com:

It’s Year 2 of the great debate, of Rodman’s obvious statistical accomplishments as a defender and rebounder against Rodman’s obvious ability to turn off panelists with his personality. But eight consecutive seasons as first- or second-team All-Defense, as voted on by coaches, and another seven consecutive seasons of leading the league in rebounding, a record run, and he didn’t even make finalist last year. If he doesn’t at least advance to that next round this time, it could signal the Worm is forever doomed.

In case voters need a reminder of why Rodman is Hall-worthy, here are some reasons:

  • Standing just 6-foot-7 and being out-weighed by nearly every power forward he faced, Dennis Rodman won seven consecutive NBA rebounding titles.
  • Rodman has the five highest single-season rebounding averages in the last 20 years — his best five years looked like this: 18.7, 18.3, 17.3, 16.8, 16.1. Read those again. Look at the modern NBA. For any guy, let alone a generously-listed 6-7 slim guy playing power forward against beasts like Barkley, Malone and Kemp every night, to put up those numbers is INSANE.
  • Charles Barkley’s best was 14.6. Shaquille O’Neal has never averaged more than 13.7. Dwight Howard has never done better than 14.2. Ben Wallace hasn’t been better than 15.4. Tim Duncan’s best is 12.9. Kevin Garnett’s best is 13.9. Those guys are all phenomenal rebounders, and Rodman’s numbers don’t just slightly beat them. They obliterate them.
  • Look at the best NBA single-season rebounding averages. Before you get to Kevin Willis at No. 95, only five of the top seasons occurred after 1980. All five of those are Dennis Rodman seasons. The other names in that top 94 are guys like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wes Unseld, Moses Malone, Bill Walton, et. al. In short, it is Dennis Rodman and a bunch of Hall of Fame pioneers of the game.
  • Rodman’s career rebounding average is 11th best in NBA history. Nine of the 10 players in front of him (the underrated ABA great Mel Daniels being the exception) are in the Hall of Fame.
  • Rodman’s rebound rate — the total percentage of available rebounds he grabbed while on the court — is the best in NBA history.

It’s a tough sell to convince writers to enshrine Rodman when his own team hasn’t even done the right thing and retired his No. 10 jersey (sorry Greg Monroe … I like you, but that’s not your number). Hopefully more people on a national level realize that Rodman was one of the most unique talents of his era, and just because he wasn’t a scorer doesn’t mean he couldn’t control a game with rebounding and lockdown defense.

16 Comments

  • Dec 1, 201010:46 am
    by DoctorDaveT.com

    Reply

    Hey, PP,
    How did this post miss this “reminder”:
    Rodman was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year (1989-90 & 1990-91) – and probably should have been in 1988-1989 too.
    Before he got weird, he was my favorite Piston. I loved the passion he showed while he played. After he got weird, he was still the best defensive player in the NBA for several years – all while trying to look too cool to play basketball.
    I get the “Jack Morris” effect – his personal life is definitely a turnoff. So if you want to punish Rodman, don’t let him in on the first ballot. As much as I loved him, I’d not vote for him on the first ballot (that’s reserved for the Isiah Thomas’ of the baskeball world, right?).
    But not in at all? Come on. Jack Morris (the winningest pitcher of the 1980′s AND World Series Champ 4 times in 3 different cities) will get it eventually, right? And so should Worm.

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  • Dec 1, 201012:40 pm
    by Derek

    Reply

    Great points here, but you were just getting started!
    1. Nickname: “Worm” (awesome).
    2. 5 rings.
    3. 2 DPY seasons were before he ever led the league in rebounds (and none of the aforementioned top-5 seasons).
    4. At age 38, he still averaged 14 rebounds/game.
    5. Those five seasons? Also grabbed over 5 OR/G in each of the years. That’s an important offensive presence, too.
    6. Led NBA in rebounding 7 consecutive years (record that will almost certainly never be broken).
    7. 5 30+ rebound games (next is Willis with 2), 33 with 25+ (next is Barkley/Mutombo with 6), and 167 with 20+ (next is Barkley with 56).
    8. Set a Spurs record with 15 rebounds in a quarter.
    I mean, look at this page. So much more…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_career_achievements_by_Dennis_Rodman

  • Dec 1, 20103:29 pm
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    The off-court behavior, the hair, the dresses, the lame movies.  Yeah, that’s all Rodman.  But who cares?  If you want to talk about basketball, then he is the greatest rebounder that ever lived, period.  What a great defender too.  And so selfless as a teammate.  I don’t get what those old-school, homophobic, close-minded panelists think that they’re doing with their “judgements.”  Let’s just appreciate what an incredible player he was.

  • Dec 1, 20103:45 pm
    by Owen

    Reply

    It’s insane that Rodman isn’t in the Hall of Fame. It’s flat out ridiculous.

  • Dec 1, 20104:11 pm
    by The J

    Reply

    Not that I completely disagree, but there is one thing missing from your discussion, the points (assists, and other offensive stats as well).  Again, it’s not that I don’t think he should be there, but it’s hard when he really was a specialist.  You list names like: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wes Unseld, Moses Malone, Bill Walton, and names like Charles Barkley, haquille O’Neal, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.  But all of these guys could score, in fact the were mostly all great offensive and defensive players.

    But I agree, he was the best at one area of the game (rebounding), and great at one side of the game (defense).  I guess if players with no Defensive ability can get in there, maybe players without Offensive skills should as well.

  • Dec 1, 20105:22 pm
    by someone from Lithuania

    Reply

    I agree, D. Rodman should be in HOF!

  • Dec 1, 20106:31 pm
    by Detroit Fan78

    Reply

    5 rings not one of them are won without rodman HOF.

  • Dec 1, 20107:16 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    5 offensive rebounds per game can lead to and extra 10 or more points per game for your team. Heck by doing so it is also lets your shooters play with confidence cause they knew that he would be there to clean up if they missed. I will go out on a limb here and say that if Rodman doesn’t get inducted then neither does Ben Wallace and if he does then it is clear that the reason is because of his antics off the court.

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  • Dec 2, 20101:58 am
    by Paulo

    Reply

    Let’s not forget: Before Pau Gasol came to LA, Rodman was the perfect PF for the triangle offense. His basketball IQ is beyond anything we’ll see. That should shut up those “no offense” arguments.
     
    On the court, Rodman should be a 1st ballot HOFer. They’re just docking points for the wedding dress, the cameraman thing, etc…
     
    Besides it’s the basketball hall of FAME. You rarely get more famous than Dennis Rodman.

  • Dec 3, 20103:34 pm
    by Matt

    Reply

    Too bad Kobe Bryant will never get in the HOF.
    I mean, personal life matters right?  Or it doesnt?  Check out the “Top 5 reasons you can’t blame” episode on Rodman.
    I personally refuse to go to the HOF (it’s about an hour from where I grew up and where I visit when I go home to Mass) until Rodman is in.
    And BTW, I’d argue mightily his offensive rebounding counts as an offensive game.

  • Dec 3, 20104:39 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Dennis Rodman is the most underrated NBA player of all time. He might be the most underrated athlete in any sport.

  • Dec 17, 20105:51 am
    by Bones Palanca

    Reply

    i think of you look at his career in totality, he is something special. I definitely think he is a hall of famer and teams like detroit and chicago should retire his jersey. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dennis-Rodman-Hall-of-Fame-2011-Campaign/139764292729636

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