Steven Adams wasn’t even born yet when Dennis Rodman won his first NBA rebounding title, but Adams can still appreciate what The Worm achieved.
The Memphis Grizzlies center Adams went viral this week for his hilarious quote about the retired Basketball Hall of Famer Rodman, one of the most tenacious rebounders ever. Adams just broke the Grizzlies’ team record for the most offensive rebounds in a single season and was asked how he did it.
“Just stand on the opposite side they’re shooting [from], typically the ball will bounce that far,” said Adams, per 1News in New Zealand. “That’s as basic as it goes.
“You can go into the Dennis Rodman major science,” Adams went on. “He’s talking about the rotations of the ball… He’s wild bro, different level. I’m too stupid for that, mate. Not enough brain cells for that one, brother. I just stand there.”
Adams is a successful rebounder in his own right, grabbing 10.0 of them per game this season, 4.7 of which come on the offensive glass. But Rodman was indeed a different kind of maniacal with his dedication to his craft. Viewers of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” likely remember Rodman describing how he studied the physics of the basketball and how many times it spun when it left the hand of each individual player.
That type of commitment allowed Rodman, who was only 6-foot-7, to win seven straight rebounding crowns. Rodman also averaged 16.7 rebounds a game over that entire seven-year span. No player ever since then has even averaged that many rebounds in a single season (Andre Drummond came the closest in 2017-18 with 16.0 rebounds per game).
With the start of the NBA season rapidly approaching, teams are getting a firsthand look at how their offseason additions will blend on their new squads. For teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, this is an optimistic yet crucial time. Following consecutive premature playoff exits, the Bucks entered the offseason eager to improve their roster, with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s impending 2021 free agency looming large. Entering the season with a championship-or-bust mentality, the Bucks swung for the fences in their trade to acquire Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Originally only supposed to be a two-team swap, Milwaukee and New Orleans expanded the Jrue Holiday deal to include the Denver Nuggets and perpetually-active Oklahoma City Thunder, creating a blockbuster four-team trade. When the dust settled, the team’s returns were as followed:
MIL: Jrue Holiday, No. 60 pick Sam Merrill NOLA: Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, ‘25/'27 1sts, ‘24/'26 swaps via MIL OKC: George Hill, Josh Gray, Kenrich Williams, Zylan Cheatham, Darius Miller, ‘23 protected 1st via Denver, two 2nd round picks DEN: RJ Hampton
“Let’s be clear — this is not Syria, mate. You know what I mean? It’s not that hard,” the New Zealand-born Adams said. “We’re living in a bloody resort, you know? Everyone’s gonna complain. Everyone has their own preferences, but it’s not anything too serious. It’s just a bit of dry food here and there and you get bored every now and then. It’s all good, man.”
Adams added that he is enjoying the experience because it has given him an opportunity to interact with players on other teams.
With everything that has been going on in the world, it’s a bad look for NBA players to act like having Walt Disney World resorts to themselves is the equivalent of living in poverty. Adams is not the only player who seems to realize that.
Steven Adams is not about to get caught up in the back-and-forth between two of his former teammates.
Speaking with reporters on Friday, the Oklahoma City Thunder center had a funny reaction to the Twitter feud between Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins, saying that they were probably just bored.
“Ah you know how it is, mate,” said Adams, per Erik Horne of The Athletic. “They’re both a bit bored, aye? They’re not doing much so they’re probably just bored, mate. But it’s entertaining for you guys I bet, yeah?! You guys getting a little kick out of it?
“I wouldn’t say [it’s] interesting,” Adams went on. “It’s just some bickering. What’s interesting is the political stuff. American politics. That’s interesting. Not just two players bickering. C’mon.”
Adams arrived in Oklahoma City as a rookie in 2013 with both Durant and Perkins already on the team. Perkins was then traded away in 2015 and Durant left to sign with the Golden State Warriors in 2016, which was a central topic of their social media beef this week.
Steven Adams no longer appears to fit the Oklahoma City Thunder timeline, and one fellow Western Conference team may be trying to deal for him.
Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported this week that if there was a favorite to trade for the seven-footer, it would be the Sacramento Kings. Deveney notes that the Kings had interest in Adams prior to free agency this summer and discussed a potential deal with the Thunder but that talks did not get very far because the asking price for Adams was too high.
The 26-year-old Adams, who averaged 13.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season, is enterting the third year of a four-year, $100 million contract.
Depending on what Sacramento would give up for Adams, he could make for an odd fit on a team that already has young frontcourt players like Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley who need minutes. The Kings also went out and signed big men Dewayne Dedmon and Richaun Holmes this offseason. Still though, Adams landing in Sacramento would be an interesting turn of events, especially given his history of sorts with the team.
Steven Adams has no time for friendships during the playoffs.
Adams was asked ahead of Tuesday’s Game 2 of the first round series between his Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers whether he would be hanging out with ex-teammate Enes Kanter between games. Adams offered a blunt response and said he had no interest in doing so.
Steven Adams today at shootaround on if he has any free time in between games to hang out with Enes Kanter: “Yeah, there’s time … but I don’t want to.” pic.twitter.com/RtHHE2GyOj
A little blood wasn’t going to stop Steven Adams on Tuesday.
During the game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder, Adams sustained a bloody nose. In true Steven Adams form, he packed his nose with loads of tissue and kept playing. Unfortunately, when the tissue started to fill with blood, officials made Adams leave the floor.
Steven Adams is playing with a big kleenex stuck in his nose after he was bloodied. Looks like he's been doing it his whole life
Steven Adams savagely trolled his former Stache Brother when they squared off against each other on Wednesday night.
Adams’ Oklahoma City Thunder hosted Enes Kanter’s New York Knicks and got out to be a big lead in the first half. Kanter subbed into the game midway through the first quarter, and it didn’t take long for Adams to trash talk him.
During a stoppage in play, Adams told Knicks coach David Fizdale to sub Kanter out because he can’t play defense.
Steven Adams to David Fizdale during a stoppage: "Sub him (him being Enes Kanter) out. He can't play defense."
Kanter is in his second season with the Knicks since being traded there as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal. He has maintained love for his old team, and even for Adams. Maybe this type of competition will change his opinion.
Since starting the season 0-4, the Thunder have taken advantage of a weak schedule and gone 8-1, even winning games without Russell Westbrook in the lineup.