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Has Rodman Quit The Lakers?


Rebounding champion Dennis Rodman is taking an indefinite leave from the Los Angeles Lakers for unspecified personal reasons, the team confirmed Sunday.

Rodman missed practice on Saturday and also the team's flight to Sacramento for Sunday night's opening of a road trip of six games in nine days.

"He's got non-basketball personal issues he's attending to," team spokesman Tom Savage said. "He's talked to the coaches. He's definitely gone."

Rodman didn't indicate to the team what the personal issues involved, he added.

On Saturday, Laker spokesman John Black said team executives Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak would not comment on the Rodman situation.

Rodman did not indicate when he might rejoin the team, coach Kurt Rambis said Saturday.

"Will he be on the road trip? I have no idea, he said. "You're asking me hypothetical questions for which I have no answers."

I'm not going to freak out about it," Rambis added. "It's just something we're going to have to deal with."

Rodman, accompanied by two bodyguards, arrived at the Lakers' training site Saturday afternoon as practice was ending. He had a brief conversation with Rambis behind the gymnasium at Southwest College and then drove off in his white Mercedes-Benz.

Rodman, the NBA's premier rebounder of the 1990s, who played on two championship teams in Detroit and three more with Chicago, has helped the Lakers to a 10-game winning streak since signing with the team on Feb. 20. He has averaged 10.3 rebounds in nine games but sat out the second half of Friday's game against the Golden State Warriors because of a sore elbow.

He also missed practice on Monday.

Other players took the news of his absence in stride.

"Nobody really seems to worry about where Dennis is or what he's going to do," Derek Fisher said.

"We all knew what he was like before he signed. ... If he can afford to continue to pay the fines for missing or whatever, then that's his choice."

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