Rodman's 1986 NBA Draft selection and early Pistons years

Dennis Rodman was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft, 27th overall. Coming from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, an NAIA school, Rodman was not a high-profile player, making his selection somewhat under the radar. 

Rodman’s journey to the NBA was unconventional. He had a tumultuous early life and didn't start playing basketball seriously until his late teens. His path through a lesser-known college program made his transition to the NBA particularly noteworthy. 

Rodman joined the Detroit Pistons during the era of the "Bad Boys," a team known for its tough, physical style of play. Under the guidance of coach Chuck Daly, Rodman quickly fit into the team's defensive and aggressive identity. 

In his rookie season (1986-1987), Rodman made an immediate impact with his energy, rebounding, and defensive abilities. He averaged 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, earning a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. 

 Rodman’s defensive skills became a cornerstone of his game. By his second season, he was a key part of the Pistons' defensive rotation. His ability to guard multiple positions and his relentless effort on the boards were crucial for the team’s success.

Rodman played a significant role in the Pistons' back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990. His defense, rebounding, and hustle plays were instrumental in the Pistons defeating the Lakers in 1989 and the Trail Blazers in 1990 to secure their titles. 

 During his early years with the Pistons, Rodman began accumulating personal accolades. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times and won his first of two NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1990 and 1991, highlighting his elite defensive capabilities.

Although known for his defense, Rodman also emerged as one of the best rebounders in the league. By the end of his tenure with the Pistons, he was leading the league in rebounds per game, setting the stage for his later dominance in this area throughout his career. 

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