Both men are (or for the sake of this article, were) excellent at rebounding the basketball and playing tight defense and bring/brought an emotional spark and hustle to their teams.
That said, I can see the comparison between the two, but am I willing to say that Evans is as good a player as Rodman was?
Before we we enter the great debate, take a look at Rodman’s career numbers compared to Evans’ performance this season to get an idea of how Evans stacks up to Rodman.
|Dennis Rodman Career||Reggie Evans 2012-13|
|Field Goal %||.521||.479|
|Free Throw %||.584||.509|
While the statistics are definitely similar—especially in terms of rebounding, blocks and steals—it’s not even an argument to say that Rodman was the better player and that Evans won’t finish his career anywhere near the status that Rodman exited the NBA as.
I’ve been one of the biggest Reggie Evans supporters since he came to Brooklyn, but Rodman is a five-time NBA champion, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, two-time NBA All-Star and seven-time rebounding champion.
Evans doesn’t have any of those accolades on his NBA resume.
NBA analysts have actually put Evans in an unfair position by comparing him to an NBA great like Rodman. Besides the similar rebounding numbers and low scoring efforts, the two aren’t all that comparable. After all, there may never be another better lockdown defender in the history of the game than Rodman.
One thing that I will say about the parallel between Evans and Rodman is that the Nets forward’s rebounding rate is up there with Rodman’s. Evans completed the 2012-13 season with a 26.7% rebound rate, which is the fifth- best in NBA history.
Fox Sports’ Ben Maller actually notes that Evans bested Rodman in terms of defensive rebounding percentage:
Nets Reggie Evans defensive rebounding percentage of 38.0% was best mark in NBA history, ahead of Dennis Rodman’s 1994-95 season (37.8%)
— Ben Maller (@benmaller) April 23, 2013
Furthermore, Evans’ rebounding rate makes him just the second player to ever finish an NBA campaign with a rebounding rate more than 24.1%. Guess who the other player is.
Yup, you guessed it. Dennis Rodman.
Don’t get me wrong. Reggie Evans has been a pleasant surprise for Brooklyn and a big reason why the Nets are in the playoffs, but there’s no way we should be comparing him to Dennis Rodman until he starts piling up awards and raising banners.
Follow me on Twitter: Follow @Pete_Schauer