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Dennis Rodman shares unique approach to rebounding

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Episode 3 of the 10-part ESPN docuseries “The Last Dance” detailed Dennis Rodman’s path to becoming the NBA’s leading rebounder for seven straight seasons.

The former Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls board king explained just how he grew his penchant for ensnaring offensive rebounds and the techniques involved in anticipating where misses would land:

“I’d just sit there and react, react. I just practiced a lot about the angle of the ball and the trajectory of it. You got a Larry Bird, it’s gonna spin. You got a Magic, it’ll maybe spin. When Michael shoot over here, I position myself right there. Now it hit the rim, it’s boom. Click, go back this way. Boom, here, here. Click, go that way. Boom, that way. Click here, this way. So basically I just start learning how to put myself in a position to get the ball.”

Dennis Rodman played a perfect complement to Michael Jordan and the Bulls due to his lack of need for the basketball on offense. Most of Rodman’s baskets would come on put-backs, trail plays, cleaning up misses and preventing a second crack at the basket, or at the foul line after snatching away possessions from his opponents.

Rodman led the league in rebounding from 1991-92 to 1997-98 (two years with Detroit, two years with the San Antonio Spurs, and three years with Chicago) and also chipped in some massive double-digit rebounding averages in shortstops with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks during the latter part of his NBA career.

Rodman’s unique vision and innate nose for the basketball made him more than just a gifted rebounder but a pest that most teams had to deal with in every minute he was on the court.