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YouTube Gold: Dennis Rodman Blocks

Rodman was difficult in many ways, but no one questions his brilliance as a basketball player

1998 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 2: New Jersey Nets vs. Chicago Bulls
CHICAGO - APRIL 26: Dennis Rodman #91 of the Chicago Bulls blocks the shot by David Benoit #2 of the New Jersey Nets in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 1998 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 26, 1998 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Nets 96-91.
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Dennis Rodman’s outlandish behavior and personal demons unfortunately overshadowed his greatness to an extent.

And he was legitimately great.

But he really did have a lot to deal with. He had a very difficult childhood and adolescence, and never was on anyone’s radar for greatness.

Rodman’s father left the family and measures his children by the dozens. It’s somewhere between two and four dozen. Rodman basically never knew him. His father’s name? Philander, believe it or not.

He graduated high school when he was about 5-11 and his mother told him to get a job or get out and he was on his own for some time.

Then he grew suddenly to about 6-7 and ended up playing ball at a Community College and then for Southeastern Oklahoma State and then finally was drafted by the Detroit Pistons.

He was an odd talent who, somewhat like Bill Russell, was happy to focus on defense and rebounding. And he was far more intelligent than people realized.

As you’ll see here, in this list of his Top Ten Blocks, he’s not always bigger or stronger than his opponents. It’s just that he’s in the right place at the right time.

His sometimes bizarre behavior may mean that he never gets his full due but Rodman was one of the smartest players the NBA has ever seen.