Cavs’ Tristan Thompson’s tweet said it all regarding Dennis Rodman’s impact for Bulls

GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images
GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images /

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson’s tweet said it all regarding Dennis Rodman’s impact for the Chicago Bulls.

In the second batch of episodes, in which there were the third and fourth episodes of The Last Dance, a documentary that’s currently in syndication on ESPN often showing never-before-seen footage of the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, plenty of the focus was on Dennis Rodman. The Cleveland Cavaliers, and most notably, Michael Jordan‘s shot to beat them in the 1989 Eastern Conference first round in the then-deciding Game 5, were in the third episode a bit, too, but us Cavs fans know that all too well.

One of the best Cavs players ever, Mark Price, who fought through a hamstring injury in that series, touched on how he was basically just glad to see that Cavaliers’ bit out of the way already. I’m with him on that, too!

Swinging back to Rodman, though, it was evident that he was such a crucial element to the Bulls’ success in their second three-peat run of championships from 1996-98. He was also a big contributor on the “Bad Boys Pistons,” who were a significant part of the third episode and were clearly Jordan and the Bulls’ nemesis.

They were essentially the proverbial hump Chicago and Jordan had to get over, and that Detroit Pistons squad won back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990, but swinging back to Rodman’s impact on the Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson‘s tweet while watching said it all regarding that.

During his career, Rodman averaged 13.1 rebounds per game, was a seven-time NBA rebounding champ, eight-time All-Defensive squad member, two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, two-time All-NBA member and two-time All-Star.

He was maybe the best “dirty work” guy in NBA history, was an unbelievable defender that was ultra-versatile in that regard, was tough as nails, would get seemingly every loose ball in his orbit, ran the floor, and during his three-year run with the Bulls, as Thompson alluded to, made them “invincible.”

In that span, Rodman had averages of just 5.5, 5.7 and 4.7 points per contest, but he had 14.9, 16.1 and 15.0 rebounds per outing, per Basketball Reference.

Furthermore, fellow Cavs big Kevin Love recently had an interesting perspective/question about how in today’s league, with much faster pace, could Rodman realistically average 20-plus rebounds per game? I’d say he definitely could, and Love noted how Rodman had over 18.0 rebounds per outing in 1991-92 and 92-93, which were with Detroit.

Those aforementioned rebounding averages with the Bulls led the NBA in each of those seasons, and again, as Thompson essentially touched on, it was abundantly clear that Rodman gave the Bulls that added edge, defensive prowess and toughness that really gave them that extra juice in their second three-peat run.

That was following when Jordan was out of the league for a season (though he was back for the 1995 postseason), and tried his hand at baseball for a season in the minors. Moreover, this tweet from Thompson regarding Rodman’s impact for the Bulls definitely said it all to me.

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TT has been such a key glue guy for the Cavs for so many years, and in the Cavs’ previous four straight runs to the NBA Finals, he came up with so many crucial offensive rebounds, loose balls and/or hustle plays, and was one of Cleveland’s best defenders.

Thus far this season, which is currently on a novel-coronavirus-induced hiatus and may or may not eventually be played out at least in some capacity, Thompson’s averaged a career-best 12.0 points and 2.1 assists per game. Plus, he’s had a near-career-best 10.1 rebounds per outing, too.

His workload had been not nearly the same for much of the time since the trade deadline acquisition of Andre Drummond, however.

That being said, TT was still helping out pieces such as Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. and others when he was able to go in minutes with those players on the floor as a screener/rebounder/emerging post option. Along with that, the 29-year-old is the Cavs’ best defensive commuciator.

Though he is expiring at the end of this season, whenever that ultimately is, and he could seemingly be a feasible sign-and-trade candidate, as’s Chris Fedor previously touched on, Thompson has clearly been such an integral piece for the Cavs for so long.

I’ll always appreciate him for his effort on both ends.

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Anyhow, TT’s tweet regarding Rodman’s impact for the Bulls really said it all, as Thompson himself, though he’s definitely not what Rodman was, has been a pretty darn solid glue guy for nearly nine years for Cleveland.