Dennis Rodman vs. Draymond Green: Battle of the Third Wheels
Dennis Rodman has found himself back in the news lately with the “Last Dance,” taking the world by storm, resulting in comparisons to the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green.
The comparison makes sense as they have similar roles on their respective teams and are both stingy defenders. Plus, they are great third options for their teams; Green has complimented Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and Rodman was a great teammate for Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Neither of them is a big-time scorer, but both affect the game in other ways. Whether it be rebounding or shutting down the opposition’s best big man, Rodman and Green play very similar roles on the court. With this in mind, it makes sense for these two to be the next candidates in our “versus” series. Let’s see who is the better third-wheel between Dennis Rodman and Draymond Green.
Dennis Rodman vs. Draymond Green
Dennis Rodman vs. Draymond Green: The Case for Green
Draymond Green has Rodman beat in the sense that he’s much more versatile. He can guard positions one through five, unlike Rodman, who mostly defended the paint. Not to mention, Green is a better shooter and scorer than Rodman. As a result, he can stretch the defense, opening up the offense for post players to operate inside, whereas Rodman was often asked to man the paint and clean the offensive glass.
Dray has four seasons under his belt in which he averaged double figures in scoring compared to Rodman’s one. Not to mention, Green is a much better passer, averaging 5.0 assists per game for his career compared to Rodman’s 1.8. The cherry on top is that Green has won a Defensive Player of the Year award, showing his grit on the uglier side of the ball. However, as we all know, scoring is not everything and Dennis Rodman is the perfect example of a star who didn’t need to score a lot to have an impact.
Dennis Rodman vs. Draymond Green: The Case for Rodman
Dennis Rodman may not have Green beat in certain statistical categories, but he was incredibly stout defensively, netting him two DPOY nods in his career to Draymond’s one. But Rodman’s trademark was his tenacity on the boards. His rebounding prowess is unmatched among big men. Rodman tallied 13.1 rebounds per game over the course of his career, whereas Green has recorded 6.9 per contest. On top of this, Rodman averaged a career defensive rating of 100 whereas Green’s currently sits at 102 (a lower defensive rating is better). Rodman also has a career-high defensive win share of 7.0. So far in his eight-year career, Green hasn’t been able to average defensive win share higher than 5.4. Draymond Green may be the more versatile player, but Dennis Rodman did what Dennis Rodman did better than anyone.
We are going to give the slight edge to Rodman in this battle of third-wheel stars. While Green is more polished offensively, Rodman was so good on the glass and on the defensive end, it’s hard to ignore his impact as a third wheel.
Although Rodman’s impact tends to get forgotten as he was playing in the shadow of Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan, his play was crucial to the Bulls winning three straight rings. Not to mention, Rodman has had success on multiple teams whereas Green has yet to prove that he is more than a system player (he didn’t do a great job of that in his lone season without Steph and Klay). Dennis Rodman vs. Draymond Green is likely to continue being a hot debate for years to come. As Green is still active in the league, he could strengthen his case over Rodman in the future, but for now, Dennis Rodman is the better player.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images