When Dennis Rodman cursed on live television, the Chicago Bulls suspended him for two games. When he kicked a courtside cameraman, he got 11 games.
Now that he has offended an entire religious movement, judgment will have to wait."We will be dealing with Dennis after the finals are concluded," NBA spokesman Brian McIntyre said Tuesday in an official league response to Rodman's latest offensive comments.
Bulls management was equally non-commital:
General Manager Jerry Krause indicated he would speak to Rodman, whose indifferent play in the series has irritated his teammates.
"I'm always concerned about something like that," Krause said. "We don't defame anyone. We don't condone it and our players know that. If Dennis said that, we have a problem."
Not only did he use the term Monday, he repeated it - and defended his opinion - on Tuesday in an interview session with the media on the eve of today's Game 5.
Rodman used a cursing expletive when referring to members of the Mormon faith, who make up the majority of the population in the Utah Jazz's home state.
The series is tied at two games apiece.
"That's fair," Rodman said of his choice of words regarding Mormons. "If we were in Houston, I'd say (the same) about some of the Houston people.
"Maybe I don't know some of the Mormon people. The Mormon people don't like me, either, right? That's a given, right? So, what the hell."
Rodman has been making off-color comments about Mormons ever since the series started. After Game 3, he explained his poor play by saying: "It's difficult to get in sync because of all the (expletive) Mormons out here. And you can quote me on that."
Barbara Bergen of the Anti-Defamation League called on the Bulls or the league to take immediate action against Rodman.
"Any kind of hate speech against any group is indefensible. Frankly, his antics are getting old and a large segment of the community is turned off and disgusted. I would hope that the team and the league recognize that and take action," Bergen said.
The only official reaction Tuesday from the Mormon Church was a no comment.
Outside the church's high-walled world headquarters temple in downtown Salt Lake city, construction worker Jim Whiteley, wearing a Jazz T-shirt and hardhat, dismissed it as another example of Rodman trying to draw attention to himself.
"His lifestyle is so different from ours that being here has curtailed everything he's used to. Some people will take offense, but we're used to it because we've been persecuted ever since the church was founded in 1830," Whiteley said.