Dennis Rodman is possibly the best rebounder of all-time and arguably a very accomplished and entertaining player.
The five-time NBA champion was one of the keys to victory for the Detroit Pistons’ “Bad Boys” teams that also had Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn on the roster. He then played a key role in the second three-peat of the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and head coach Phil Jackson.
How did Jackson got Rodman to buy into his philosophy?
“Phil Jackson was a master of managing personalities,” former Bulls forward Jason Caffey recently told Heavy.com’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson via text message. “He controlled Dennis by not attempting to control him. Read that twice!”
‘The Last Dance,’ ESPN’s documentary on the 1998 Chicago Bulls evidences that Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson had great chemistry. MJ himself has said on numerous occasions that Jackson was a player’s coach. The fact that Jackson played 12 seasons in the NBA has something to do with this. As a player, Jackson won NBA Championships with the New York Knicks in 1970 and 1973, which clearly prepared him for what came later.
Phil Jackson became head coach of the Bulls in 1989 and led them to six NBA Championships. He then coached the Lakers from 1999 to 2004 and from 2005 to 2011, winning five NBA Championships in the process.
Jackson’s 11 NBA Championships as a head coach surpassed the previous record of nine set by Red Auerbach and he also has an NBA record with 13 combined championships as a player and as a head coach.