Numbers Worn In The NBA: 10, 91, 73, 70
Dennis Rodman was a professional basketball player known for his defensive abilities and legendary rebounding prowess. During his 14-year NBA career, Rodman played for five NBA teams, where he earned five NBA championships and was twice named the NBA’s defensive player of the year. He amassed 11,951 rebounds during his career, averaging 13.1 rebounds per game.
Rodman was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 27th pick in the second round. During his NBA career, Rodman chose four numbers with the five teams he played for. These are his numbers:
- Detroit Pistons (1986-1993): Rodman wore jersey number 10 during his years with the Pistons. With the Pistons, Rodman earned the first two of his five total NBA titles. On April 1, 2011, the Pistons retired Rodman’s 10 jersey.
- San Antonio Spurs (1993-1995): During his time in San Antonio, Rodman continued to use the number 10.
- Chicago Bulls (1995-1998): Rodman was traded to the Bulls for Will Perdue, partially to help fill the large defensive void left by the bruising Horace Grant. Rodman could not use jersey number 10 because the Bulls had previously retired it to the rafters to honor the legacy of Bob Love. Rodman, ever the one to find clever ways around problems, wanted to ’01’, an inverse to 10, but the NBA did not allow it. Instead, he chose 91 because the digits added up to 10. Another version of this story is that he wanted the number zero, but the NBA did not allow players to select that number, so he chose the one furthest away — 91.
- Los Angeles Lakers (1999): After the strike-shortened previous season, and with the help of his sister as an agent, Rodman joined the Lakers in 1999, choosing jersey number 73 for a few different reasons. First, seven represented the number of rebounding titles he had won in the NBA, and three was the championships he won with the bulls. The number was also an inverse of his age at the time, 37. He is the only player in NBA history to don the 73 jersey.
- Dallas Mavericks (2000): Rodman played only 12 games with the Mavs before being let go and wore the number 70. Initially, he requested to wear number 69. While the team had a few of the jerseys printed, he was never able to wear it due to the league not allowing any player to wear them due to the negative connotation associated with the number. To this day, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he still has a few of the printed jerseys in his collection.
After his NBA career, Rodman had short stints in various semi-pro and international leagues.
- Long Beach Jam (2003-2004): Rodman donned the number 91 jersey during his time with this minor league team in the American Basketball Association.
- Fuerza Regia (2004): Rodman joined the Monterrey, Mexico team logging two appearances — the first of which drew more than 10,000 fans to see The Worm in action.
- Orange County Crush (2004-2005): Continuing his bid to make a return to the NBA, Rodman joined the Crush because they were close to his Orange County house, and he signed a contract to only play home games.
- Tijuana Dragons (2005-2006): Rodman wore the 91 jersey while playing for the Dragons.
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