Atlanta Hawks: 5 legends for Onyeka Okongwu to study over the offseason

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by TOM MIHALEK/AFP via Getty Images) /

NBA legend for Atlanta Hawks center Onyeka Okongwu to study No. 3) Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman will go down as one of the best role-playing superstars to ever play the game of basketball. A team built around Dennis Rodman’s talents would be very unlikely to win a championship. A team built around two superstars like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen with the addition of Rodman was a different story.

Likewise, Okongwu is unlikely to achieve superstar status. Yes, he was a very high lottery pick, the Hawks took him with the sixth pick in the 2020 NBA draft, but his game is limited offensively. While Okongwu is dynamite in the pick and roll, if he can understand how Rodman worked on the offensive glass, this is another string he can add to his bow.

Both players also have much stronger defensive games, preferring to focus their talents at that end of the court. Rodman was on eight All-Defensive teams and was also the Defensive Player of the Year twice. He was a seven-time rebounding champion and made two All-NBA teams despite his severe offensive limitations. He was also a five-time NBA champion.

Okongwu plays with a similar level of energy but needs to understand how Rodman was able to defend at such a high level. While he may never get to the same level, getting somewhere close will be a massive boost to the Hawks. He already has shown that he is capable of taking on one of the toughest assignments in the game in Giannis Antetokounmpo.