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Rodman Spotted In Vegas


Dennis Rodman remained on an excused, paid leave of absence from the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday amid a report he was seen gambling in Las Vegas a night earlier.

"There is nothing new today," said Tom Savage, assistant director of public relations for the Lakers. "He's on an excused leave of absence and he's being paid. It's indefinite. He told us he had some personal, non-basketball issues he needed to handle."

Savage said Lakers executives Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak would not comment on the matter.

The Lakers had confirmed Sunday that Rodman missed practice the day before, and didn't travel with the team to Sacramento for Sunday night's game against the Kings -- the opener of a six-game road trip in nine days.

Meanwhile, a broadcast reported Rodman was spotted playing blackjack at Caesars Palace on Sunday night.

Citing privacy regulations, Phil Cooper, vice president of public relations for Caesars Palace, said the hotel doesn't reveal customer names.

Rodman wasn't registered at the hotel early Monday afternoon. However, when the woman answering the phone at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel was asked if Rodman was registered there, she replied, "All I'm showing is the reservation was canceled." It's known that Rodman has been a guest previously at that hotel.

The Lakers apparently don't know when Rodman, who earns $12,195 per game, will rejoin the team, although coach Kurt Rambis said Rodman informed him he would return at some point.

Rodman's representatives did not immediately return repeated telephone calls.

The Lakers lost at Sacramento 105-101 to snap their 10-game winning streak. They return to action Tuesday night at Minnesota.

The NBA's leading rebounder each of the last seven seasons, Rodman joined the Lakers last month after some three weeks of uncertainty. He has played in nine games for the Lakers -- all victories -- and is averaging 24.8 minutes and 10.3 rebounds.

The 37-year-old forward played only eight minutes -- all in the first half -- of his most recent game, an 89-78 victory over Golden State last Friday night. The Lakers said he was hampered by a sore right elbow.

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