Seattle SuperSonics legend says Dennis Rodman, not Michael Jordan, ‘beat’ them in Finals with strange antics

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Seattle SuperSonics legend says Dennis Rodman, not Michael Jordan, ‘beat’ them in Finals with strange antics

The Chicago Bulls‘ second of two threepeats began with the 1996 NBA Finals – it was Michael Jordan’s first full season after retirement, and he stamped himself as the best ever.

Jordan, winning his fourth NBA title, was named the Finals MVP once again, after averaging 27.3 points per game.

The title capped off what was then an NBA-record 72 wins, and it is still widely regarded as the greatest NBA team ever.

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Shawn Kemp of the SuperSonics and Dennis Rodman of the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals at Key Arena on June 9, 1996, in Seattle. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

But, one member of that Seattle SuperSonics squad says it wasn’t Jordan who was the biggest factor in that series.

Instead, it was Dennis Rodman, says Shawn Kemp.

“Michael wasn’t the reason, he didn’t beat us,” Kemp told the “All The Smoke” podcast. “We was on his a–. Dennis Rodman was the one who beat us. We had no answer for his a–.

Dennis Rodman and Shawn Kemp on court

Chicago Bulls’ Dennis Rodman points to Shawn Kemp of the SuperSonics after he took a charge during the NBA Finals on June 9, 1996, at KeyArena in Seattle. (Brian Bahr/AFP via Getty Images)

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“Every time that they needed a second shot or something special or an extra rebound, this motherf—– was flying.”

Rodman dominated the glass in the six-game series, averaging 14.7 rebounds a game – he had double-digit rebounds in each contest, recording 20 in Game 2 and 19 in Game 6.

But it wasn’t just his presence at the rack that the Sonics couldn’t stop – Rodman was intimidating Seattle in a rather peculiar way, says Kemp, adding he would “do s— just to f— with you.”

“He wore colored contacts during the championship with some lip s—. He trying to kiss Frank [Brickowski]’s arm,” Kemp said. “Frank couldn’t take it. The man in him just couldn’t allow it. Dennis knew what buttons to push. We needed Frank to rebound.”

Dennis Rodman and Shawn Kemp down low

Shawn Kemp of the Seattle SuperSonics against Dennis Rodman of the Bulls on Jan. 10, 1996, at the United Center in Chicago. (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Of course, that all sounds pretty on par for Rodman – but he didn’t make the Hall of Fame by accident.

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