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Rodman Arrives 30 Minutes Late

Dennis Rodman, fresh off his electrifying Laker debut, showed up more than 30 minutes late to his first full-squad Laker practice Saturday morning.

“I told the players that he’s going to be fined accordingly,” said new Coach Kurt Rambis, only two days into the job. “I will find out what’s going on and if it’s legitimate, then no harm. If he was just late, then he’s fined.”

The Lakers do not normally publicize in-house fines, but the penalties for such infractions usually are less than $500.

“He’s definitely going to have a leeway,” Rambis said. “He’s a free thinker. And if he wants to do things differently, I do not have a problem with that, as long as it’s within the structure of the guidelines and the rules that we have set for the team.”

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Speaking to magazine and television reporters, Rodman was not asked about his late arrival, but gave a thumbnail sketch of the Lakers’ title chances.

“They definitely need a shooter here,” Rodman said. “They need a shooter bad. And if they get another person that is a role player, they have a shot.

“If they don’t get those pieces, it’ll just be like Seattle. So many years they have had the best team, best team, best team, coulda, coulda, coulda . . . but they don’t win.”

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Rambis opened his first practice as coach with a short lecture, then ran the workout briskly--finishing in 90 minutes what probably would’ve been a two-hour-plus practice under Del Harris.

Said Shaquille O’Neal, who flashed a double-thumbs-up to Rambis: “We had a no-nonsense practice--running, running, running . . . not that much conversation. Did I like it? Yeah, loved it. Looks like Kurt’s going to be a great one, as long as I’m here.”

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Elden Campbell was sent home early because of flu symptoms.

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vs. Houston, 2:30

Channel 4

* Site--Great Western Forum.

* Radio--KLAC (570 AM).

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* Records--Lakers 8-6, Rockets 8-5.

* Record vs. Rockets--1-0.

* Update--The Lakers have lost their first three Sunday games, but face a Rocket team that is without Charles Barkley (knee surgery) and had to travel from Vancouver after beating the Grizzlies on Saturday.

* Tickets--Sold out.

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