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NBA PLAYOFFS | FINALS NOTES

Kinder, Gentler Rodman May Disappear in Utah

June 06, 1997|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SALT LAKE CITY — The women and children have either gone into hiding or somewhere else to finish their throw-me-the-jersey signs, and the pit bosses in Vegas are no doubt on red alert, anticipating the arrival, complete with entourage. Temple Square, figure it's not on the tour itinerary.

"I doubt that," Dennis Rodman said, smiling.

Because he doesn't like Salt Lake City. And Salt Lake City doesn't like him, even more than most cities, ever since he came here with the San Antonio Spurs for the 1994 playoffs, got suspended by the league for one game because of dirty play and caused a stir in general by having Madonna along for the ride.

This time, he arrives with the Chicago Bulls, a 2-0 lead in the NBA finals that continue tonight at the Delta Center, and on his best behavior, having avoided a technical foul in Games 1 and 2 after having been hit at least once in the previous 13 outings. He also arrives with only 19 rebounds, so teammates, perhaps trying to light a fire, have all but started a pool to predict when he will go off.

"I think Dennis is looking forward to going on the road and really getting after the fans in Utah," Scottie Pippen said.

Not that he plans to spend much free time around town.

"It's a 40-minute flight, right?"

To Las Vegas.

*

The availability of Jazz backup small forward Shandon Anderson, an important reserve because he has been among the many assigned to Michael Jordan, is uncertain for tonight, and maybe even longer. He went home to Atlanta because of the death of his father.

Willie Anderson Sr. had been suffering from throat cancer. Shandon, the younger brother of veteran Willie Anderson, learned of his father's death late Wednesday afternoon, a few hours before playing 26 minutes in Game 2 at Chicago, and did not tell anyone with the Jazz until afterward. He said his dad would have wanted him to play.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

The Finals

Bulls lead best-of-seven series 2-0:

* Game 1Chicago 84, Utah 82

* Game 2Chicago 97, Utah 85

* Tonight--At Utah6

* Sunday--At Utah4:30 p.m.

* Wednesday--At Utah-x6 p.m.

* June 13--At Chicago-x6 p.m.

* June 15--At Chicago-x4:30 p.m.

x-if necessary

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