Portland Trail Blazers: 4 Blazer players that had Dennis Rodman-esque performances

Dennis Rodman, Chicago Bulls (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images)
Dennis Rodman, Chicago Bulls (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Sam Bowie, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) /

3: Sam Bowie

Date: April 20th, 1985 vs. Dallas Mavericks

Result: Won 118-115

Box Score: 6 points, 20 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 5 blocks on 2-of-8 FG

The Last Dance and Michael Jordan’s resumè as a whole have caused Sam Bowie’s legacy to become perhaps … slightly undervalued? To quote another player we should’ve selected in Kevin Durant, it’s difficult to call a player a bust when they didn’t have a chance to truly perform.

Over three seasons, Sam Bowie’s career arc didn’t reflect that of a bust. His numbers suggest he was on the steady incline, and at age 30, he put up lower-tier All-Star numbers — 15.0 points and 8.1 rebounds for a 40-win Nets team — and possibly could’ve done the same in Portland with a bit more luck.

But in his rookie season, the former No. 2 pick was doing numbers early on in his first postseason series. After a solid, 8-point, 14-rebound, 5-block debut in Game One, Bowie produced a Game Two that was just as noteworthy.

For the series, Bowie was dominant. But, it should certainly be noted that he wasn’t battling a traditional big. Dallas was starting Sam Perkins, a fellow North Carolina grad. Perkins is as tough as a $5 steak, with a silky-smooth jumper to match, but he gives up four-or-more inches.

It doesn’t serve much importance, since it came in the next series, but the Los Angeles Times’ piece on Bowie in 1985 provides a bit of insight on how he was viewed at the time. In the next series, Bowie would be tasked with guarding Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. To quote:

"“But when the Trail Blazers made their last visit to the Forum April 7, the result was starkly different. Bowie scored 21 points and took down a season-high 20 rebounds in 39 minutes as Portland extended the Lakers to overtime before losing by two points. On that occasion, Bowie was intimidating. “I think Sam’s got as good a chance at controlling Kareem as anybody in the league,” Portland forward Kiki Vandeweghe said. “He’s got the talent and the confidence to play with Kareem. There’s no way to stop Kareem. But I think Sam can limit what Kareem can do.”"

Spoiler alert: Bowie held Abdul-Jabbar to “average” numbers, which would be inspiring if Kareem’s version of average weren’t superior to nearly every center to ever play. Despite a short run in Portland, Bowie provided some solid production when he was healthy, with games like this as proving ground.