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Personality-wise, Dennis Rodman had all the flair to be an All-Star starter. 

That is, later in his career.

He wasn’t yet the Rodman the world came to know (for his flamboyant off-court exploits) when he was an All-Star for the Detroit Pistons in 1990 and 1992. Back then, he was merely The Worm, a slippery, squirming rebounding machine who joined Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn in the dirty work that made the Bad Boy Pistons such a powerhouse of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

That role might’ve kept Rodman from the shine he needed to start—not that his talents portended him doing so. He never averaged more than 11.6 points in a season, and he finished at 8.8 and 9.8 points, respectively, during his two All-Star seasons. Numbers like those paled in comparison to the explosive stats posted by Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and Dominique Wilkins at forward during Rodman’s prime.

On the other hand, Dennis The Menace’s excellence in cleanup duty would have made him a shoo-in selection by his peers and coaches. During his first All-Star season, he nabbed 9.7 rebounds per game while coming off the bench for nearly half the campaign. In his second, he led the league with 18.7 boards as a full-time starter in Detroit.

By the time Rodman was done, he’d racked up seven consecutive rebounding titles, two All-NBA selections, eight All-Defensive nods, two Defensive Player of the Year awards and five championship rings—plenty to have him enshrined in Springfield in 2011.



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