How Andre Drummond became one of the game’s all-time rebounders

Andre Drummond Detroit Pistons Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andre Drummond Detroit Pistons Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With rebounding numbers that rival some of the greatest ever, it’s only right to give credit to Andre Drummond for making the glass his domain.

When all is said and done, Andre Drummond will have had a pretty productive NBA career.

As of the present day, the former ninth overall pick has a career double-double average with two All-Star appearances and over $80 million in his bank account — soon to cross nine figures following this season.

On the superstar hierarchy, though, Drummond’s offensive limitations — he’s averaged just 14.2 points per game for his career — take him down a few notches.

Combined with the state of the Detroit Pistons, who have just two postseason appearances and not a single playoff victory in Drummond’s six full seasons and the former UConn big man is bordering on irrelevance without much to draw the casual fan’s attention.

The thing is, though, Drummond isn’t just in the NBA to earn a nice living and bounce. He’s rewriting the rebounding record books with every passing year. Given how little of the national media is pointed to Detroit, it’s more than you might realize.

In an age where so many of his contemporaries are drifting further out to the perimeter, Drummond has remained true to the positional roots, with over 90 percent of his looks coming within 10 feet of the rim.

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The combination of blunt size at 6’10” and 279 pounds and commitment to the restricted area has allowed Drummond to dominate the offensive glass. He’s held that crown for the last six seasons and is on pace to add a seventh.

Only two other players have led the league in total offensive rebounds as many times as Drummond. Dennis Rodman did it six times and Moses Malone a whopping eight — nine if one includes his two seasons in the ABA.

At the defensive end, Drummond’s lack of foot speed makes it difficult for Detroit to employ the switch-heavy scheme that’s taken the NBA by storm. It might compromise the Pistons’ defense, but it helps Drummond remain closer to the basket to gobble up as many rebounds as he can.

He’s led the league in rebounds per game three of the previous four years. With more than a two-rebound lead over the second-highest rebounder this season, Drummond is well on his way to making it four of the last five.

The list goes on for Drummond, with his placement among numerous statistical categories a truly remarkable feat of historic significance.

His 13.8 rebounds per game is the seventh-highest mark in NBA history. Drummond’s total rebound percentage — a percentage of the available rebounds a player corrals when on the floor — of 24.49 ranks No. 1 all-time.

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According to StatMuse, only Rodman and Dwight Howard rank ahead of Drummond in 20-rebound games with 158 and 82 compared to 75, respectively. The Worm blows everyone out of the water, but Howard’s mere seven-game advantage comes from 502 more games and 19,036 more minutes.

This isn’t an argument for Drummond as the greatest rebounder the NBA has ever seen. Had their numbers been better kept with the presence of advanced stats, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain would have something to say about that title.

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For a guy, though, who’s been overshadowed by some of the more flashier and statistically imposing players at his position, Drummond’s place in NBA history can’t be denied and will only etch deeper with every possession he earns for his team.