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Wohl Returns as an Assistant

The Lakers, who have been working an assistant short since Del Harris was fired and Kurt Rambis was elevated to the top spot, added former New Jersey head coach and Miami vice president Dave Wohl to their coaching staff on Tuesday.

This is Wohl’s second stint with the Lakers--he was an assistant from 1982-85, when one of the players was Rambis, who, like Wohl, is promised his job only through the rest of this season.

“I’ve known him for years,” Rambis said. “With what he’s done as an assistant and head coach and general manager . . . [Wohl is] another individual I can turn to and get valuable advice.”

Wohl, who was Miami’s vice president for basketball operations from 1994-'96 and has been in private business the past two years, is expected to join Rambis and assistants Larry Drew and Bill Bertka today in Cleveland.

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Rambis continued to field questions about absent forward Dennis Rodman, who may or may not rejoin the team by the end of the current trip, which ends Monday.

“The latest I’ve heard is he’s supposed to join us some point in time toward the end of the road trip,” Rambis said. “But I wouldn’t hold that to a guarantee, either.”

Is Rambis bothered by reports that Rodman, who has been on a paid leave to deal with personal issues, spent at least part of the last few days in Las Vegas?

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“That’s not my problem, that’s not my issue,” Rambis said. “My job is coaching this team.”

Shaquille O’Neal said he won’t assume the worst in Rodman.

“L.A. has got to be the most gossipy city there is,” O’Neal said. “I don’t know if he was in Vegas. If he was, it wouldn’t be the right thing, but you never know.”


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