Jordan questions Rodman's motivation

Associated Press

Rodman's week was a total drag

CHICAGO -- Michael Jordan is worried that Dennis Rodman is more interested in becoming a multimedia star than in helping the Chicago Bulls win another NBA title.

Jordan said Rodman -- whose MTV show debuted Sunday night and who has movie and book deals for 1997 -- was outplayed by Vin Baker, Loy Vaught and P.J. Brown the past three games.

And that was before Popeye Jones outplayed Rodman in Sunday's defeat at Toronto, Chicago's third overall loss of the season.

Brown helped the Miami Heat upset the Bulls 83-80 Saturday, Chicago's first home loss of the season.

"Dennis has had a tough week, really hasn't been in a good rhythm," Jordan said. "He hasn't been playing solid defense. The last couple of guys he's faced have played well, and he has not met the challenge. Maybe he's lost motivation. Let's hope it's only one week."

Rodman had 18 rebounds against the Heat but "P.J. Brown wasbeating him to every loose ball," Jordan said. "Last game, Loy Vaught came in here and played well. He's being challenged and he's got to elevate his motivation to meet that challenge."

As is usually the case after home games, Rodman wasn't available for comment.

Early in the season, Rodman talked about how bored he was. And after he was badly outplayed by Karl Malone as Utah ended Chicago's season-opening 12-game winning streak two weeks ago, Rodman said he simply was not interested.

Even the prospect of losing the NBA rebounding title to Houston's Charles Barkley or New Jersey's Jayson Williams hasn't motivated Rodman, the league's top rebounder five years running.

"If it's the case that he's bored, he shouldn't be," Jordan said. "He's getting a good test now."

The Bulls, who lost only twice at home en route to last season's championship, got 37 points from Jordan on Saturday but only 43 from the rest of the team. And Rodman, Chicago's most physical player, couldn't keep the Bulls from being pushed around by the Heat.

Alonzo Mourning and Rodman spent much of the game exchanging shoves and elbows. Mourning was in foul trouble early but came back to have a superb second half, and Rodman was assessed a technical foul in the third quarter.

Brown was a force, with 14 rebounds, and Isaac Austin gave the Heat a big lift off the bench.

"To the aggressor goes the spoils," Bulls coach Phil Jackson said. "It was a good wakeup call."

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