Earlier this year, a viral post made the rounds on the internet congratulating Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond for holding the highest rebounding percentage in NBA history, edging out former Bulls legend Dennis Rodman by a surprisingly large margin. Drummond himself reposted the message, with the added caption “I’m the best!”
Drummond appears to have taken this achievement in stride, continuing on to crown himself the NBA’s king of rebounding just a few days ago on the ‘The Comfortable Pod‘ podcast. He even goes so far as to claim he believes he has a chance to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when it’s all said and done.
"“I used to play 40-plus minutes. I was a star — All-Star, All-NBA, I’ve done it. Hall of Fame candidate, best rebounder ever… I’m the best ever. I’ve done great in my career. I think I have a chance to be a Hall of Fame player due to what I’ve done in my career. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’m in the top 20 for being in the Hall of Fame, so I have a great chance.”"
I think I speak for most people when I responded to this news with a bit of a chuckle. Even though I have developed a fondness for Drummond while on the Bulls, I think this was a bit of a bold claim to make. Even though basketball’s Hall of Fame is notorious for being softer on who gets in compared to its NFL counterpart, putting Drummond at that level feels like a massive stretch.
Bulls center Andre Drummond’s wild claim to the Hall of Fame may not be insane as you originally believed.
Basketball Reference currently gives Drummond a 1.91% chance to be enshrined in the hall. This may not seem like ideal odds, but it also just might be a little better than it sounds. He ranks 33rd among all NBA players in Hall of Fame probability, even above stars like Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, Demarcus Cousins, even the Bulls’ own Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.
With one All-NBA nomination, two All-Star selections, and four rebounding titles to his name, Drummond’s claims may not be as insane as you think. Here’s the list of every player to win at least three rebounding titles in NBA history, with the names of Hall of Fame players in bold:
- Wilt Chamberlain (11)
- Dennis Rodman (7)
- Moses Malone (6)
- Dwight Howard (5)
- Bill Russell (4)
- Kevin Garnett (4)
- Andre Drummond (4)
Notice a trend here?
With Dwight sure to be inducted into the Hall of Fame sometime after retirement in the next few years, that leaves Drummond as the lone player on this list to win at least three rebounding titles and not be in the Hall of Fame. Of course, Drummond isn’t anywhere near the two-way threat that these other players were, but he’s still the league’s all-time leader in rebounding percentage, a stat that’s not likely to be overthrown any time soon.
If someone like Chicago Bears kick returner Devin Hester deserves to be in the Hall of Fame for being supremely dominant at one area of the game, why can’t an NBA player earn the same honors for being arguably the best player ever at their one specific skill as well?
All of this isn’t to say that I believe Drummond will in fact one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame. In fact, I’d feel rather comfortable betting a large sum of money against that notion. That being said, I do believe he has accomplished a great deal more than the public has perceived.
Either way, I’m happy to see Drummond maintain a level of supreme confidence in his craft even after opting into a player option for the veteran minimum. If he can continue providing this spark for the Bulls both in practice and during game time, he may just end up becoming one of the highest-value role players in the NBA today.