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IF IT HAD not been clear up to this point, it is now. The Bulls are intent on winning the NBA championship at any cost, even if they look like flunkies to the walking annoyance, Dennis Rodman.

Rodman continues to defy logic and the team. His latest shenanigans involved eating lunch at Hooters while his team practiced and later participating in a wrestling "event" as "Rodzilla" in a Detroit suburb.For his total disrespect of his team and disregard of the Bulls' championship run, the NBA fined him $10,000 and the team $10,000. That $20,000 paled in comparison with the $250,000 he got for showing up in Auburn Hills. . . .

Although he addressed countless questions about Rodman's behavior, coach Phil Jackson claimed it was not a distraction.

Jackson went on to ramble about Rodman being a product of television and society, but he never acknowledged that the Bulls seem to be a contributor. It's Jackson who allows Rodman to come late to games and practices. It's Jackson who allows Rodman to stay in the corridor or locker room during the game instead of on the bench.

It's Jackson who allows Rodman to go in the early morning hours during the NBA Finals to Las Vegas. And it's his teammates, Michael Jordan included, who have been unable to keep Rod-man in line.

"He's entertainment," guard Ron Harper said. "They paid him $250,000. The Bulls take $10,000 the league takes $10,000. That's $230,000 profit. He's a great businessman."

Curtis Bunn

Cox News Service