Rockets: Inside Dennis Rodman’s tale of D-Rob being afraid of Hakeem

Dennis Rodman (Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)
Dennis Rodman (Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Dennis Rodman (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images) /

With Dennis Rodman in the spotlight after his episode of The Last Dance, we look back at his claim that David Robinson was scared to guard Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon.

Dennis Rodman can be described as many things, but shy isn’t one of them. As we all saw during his featured episode on “The Last Dance”, he’s probably one of the most outspoken people that has ever existed. I re-examine his claim that David Robinson was visibly shaken before facing Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets in the 1995 Western Conference Finals.

Dennis Rodman was a tremendous player, but it’s safe to say he wasn’t the easiest guy to manage, whether it be from the perspective of a teammate or coach. After spending seven seasons with the Detroit Pistons, turmoil between him and the team led to him eventually being dealt to the San Antonio Spurs to begin the 1993-94 season.

The Spurs would make the playoffs in both of Rodman’s years, with their 1995 effort leading to a Western Conference showdown with Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. Although the Spurs had finished first in the West with a 62-20 record behind regular-season MVP David Robinson, everyone knows what happened next.

San Antonio dropped the first two games at home after Olajuwon put in 27 and 41 points, but was able to fight back with back-to-back wins in Houston. Hakeem then scored 42 and 39 in Games 5 and 6 to close out the series in favor of the Rockets.

It’s hard to imagine the 1995 NBA season without picturing Hakeem Olajuwon schooling David Robinson in that series time and time again, which Rodman spoke about in his 1996 book “Bad As I Wanna Be.”

Next: Rodman: "He couldn't stop shaking."