Defending Rodman (featuring the 100 Most Productive Seasons since 1978)

Posted on August 13, 2011 by


Arturo Galletti is the Co-editor and Director of Analytics for the Wages of Wins Network. He is an Electrical Engineer with General Electric in the lovely isle of Puerto Rico, where he keeps his production lines running by day and night (and weekends) and works on sport analysis with his free time.

Dennis Rodman was inducted into the NBA hall of fame as part of the 2011 Class.

Some people disagreed with the choice.

Some have made rather convincing cases for his inclusion.

Here’s mine:

Rodman owns the two most productive seasons since 1978. He owns 7 of the top 100 seasons.

Table 2: Breakdown of Multiple Top Raw Productivity Players

Name # of Top 100 Apperances Average of Rank
Charles Barkley 10 113
Magic Johnson 8 173
Dennis Rodman 7 204
Tim Duncan 6 208
Marcus Camby 6 777
David Robinson 6 136
Kevin Garnett 5 474
Dwight Howard 4 172
Hakeem Olajuwon 4 504
Shaquille O’Neal 3 476
Robert Parish 3 692
Wes Unseld 3 115
Moses Malone 3 297
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 3 1233
Dikembe Mutombo 3 276
Ben Wallace 3 335
Larry Bird 2 289
Andrew Bynum 2 579
Artis Gilmore 2 396

Please keep in mind that I am using raw productivity per minute so Dennis Rodman two best seasons were more productive on a per minute center than any center, big man or player since 1978.

He played 30 minutes or more 557 times in the regular season. His teams won 392 of those games or 70% of those games. That would be  on average 58 wins for an 82 game season.

In the playoffs, it goes to an unreal 45-17 or 72.5% percent of games won by his teams when he played 30 minutes or more.

As a point of reference, Shaq teams went 628-315 in the regular season (66%) and 111-74 in the Playoffs (60%)

He has 5 Rings and 7 Rebounding titles.

To me, this puts him in the pantheon. We can argue the exact ranking till we are blue in the face but he clearly belongs in the Hall of Fame.

I’ll leave you with one final thought: the greatest athlete Phil Jackson ever coached according to Phil?

One Clue. He's in the Photo