Dennis Rodman didn’t bother trying to rebound for Michael Jordan in Game 6 against the Utah Jazz because he knew he would make them.
If there’s one player in the history of the league who made his worth be felt by a Michael Jordan miss, it was Dennis Rodman. ‘The Worm’ was an exceptional defender but his ultimate craft was rebounding on the defensive and offensive ends of the floor, the latter of which proved to be a key asset for the Chicago Bulls during their second 3-peat.
During the ‘Last Dance’ docuseries, Dennis Rodman let fans in on how he perfected his rebounding tactics. He claimed to have asked teammates at practice to miss shots on purpose so as to help him on him improve his game on the glass.
He eventually picked up on Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s tendencies while shooting, resulting in a miss from a particular side of the court. Essentially, he knew where the ball would go if the Bulls’ two best players happened to miss.
Dennis Rodman felt no need to rebound for Michael Jordan when he was at the free throw line.
Perhaps the most iconic shot of all time would have to be Michael Jordan hitting a snatchback, through the legs jumper from the line in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. This was also, perhaps, the most important game in Jordan’s career as it was his final game as a Chicago Bull.
Despite how crucial this bout against the Utah Jaz was, Dennis Rodman used it as a platform to showcase the trust he had built up with Jordan. He did so by simply, not rebounding on any of his free throw attempts throughout the game. He would walk away from the paint and shrug, letting everybody know that, ‘It’s MJ, why rebound’.
Sure enough, as seen above, Michael Jordan did not miss any of the charity stripe shots that Rodman didn’t bother with. It’s quite powerful to see the one man who could help out on a potential miss from the 6x champ, have so much trust so as to not even bother preparing for the worst at such a stage.