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Rodman may face charges in incident Kick of cameraman puts Bulls forward into more trouble; NBA suspension possible; Player says he was trying to kick camera

THE BALTIMORE SUN

For previous bizarre incidents on the basketball court, Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman has faced fines and suspension. For his latest incident, Rodman may face criminal charges.

Prosecutors in Minneapolis were considering assault charges against the Bulls forward yesterday, after Rodman kicked courtside cameraman Eugene Amos in the groin during the second half of Wednesday's win over the Minneapolis Timberwolves.

Amos lay on the baseline for seven minutes, before being carried xTC away on a stretcher. He was treated at a Minneapolis hospital and released.

"He wants to say that it's not OK for [Rodman] to do that," said Gale Pearson, the lawyer representing Amos. "If we were not on the streets, it would not be OK. You've got to call it what it is, and that's an assault."

Rodman did not attend a light practice yesterday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Rodman, a multi-tattooed Bulls forward, faces his second suspension of the season. Earlier he was suspended by the team for an obscenity-laced tirade on live television after a game. He also used obscenities after Wednesday's game. The NBA said yesterday that the latest incident was under review and a decision will be announced today.

A tenacious rebounder, Rodman often winds up among the baseline photographers as he attempts to snare loose balls and rebounds. On Tuesday, he slightly turned his ankle when he landed on a still camera. As Rodman sat on the floor, Amos aimed his camera at him. And Rodman kicked at the photographer, who collapsed.

Rodman said he was kicking at the camera. Rodman at first said he thought he caught Amos in the thigh, but then said he wasn't sure.

"I was aiming at the camera because that's the first thing I saw," Rodman said. "I'm not going to try to hurt somebody, try to hurt him severely. I just tried to kick his camera out of the way."

Amos filed a police complaint from the hospital, where he did a telephone interview about the incident while in the emergency room. Charges likely would not be filed before next week.

"I feel hurt. I feel let down," Amos said in an interview yesterday. "I admired him. With everything, I just admired him."

Rodman thought that Amos was faking his injuries. Bulls coach Phil Jackson agreed.

"It looked like he kicked the guy in the knee, and the guy suddenly got falsetto," Jackson said.

Said Amos, of the accusations of Rodman: "I'm sorry he felt that way."

The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that when the paper tried to reach Amos at the hospital, a man who identified himself as a cousin tried to sell the story. It was the second time in less than a week that Amos had been involved with a player. Los Angeles Clippers forward Rodney Rogers landed on Amos during a game Saturday.

The Rodman file

Selected incidents involving Dennis Rodman since 1992:

Nov. 20, 1992: Suspended by Pistons for three games for refusing to go on a road trip.

Feb. 11, 1993: Police are notified after Rodman leaves a friend's house with a gun. He is later found asleep in his truck at The Palace at Auburn Hills, where he was shooting baskets.

May 2, 1994: Fined $10,000 and suspended for Game 3 of the Spurs' first-round playoff series with Utah after being called for a flagrant foul and receiving two technicals, his sixth ejection of the season.

Nov. 2, 1994: Suspended indefinitely by Spurs for throwing a bag of ice toward coach Bob Hill and an official after receiving his second technical in an exhibition game.

May 14, 1995: Benched during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals for arguing with coach Hill and refusing to join team huddles.

March 18, 1996: Suspended for six games and fined $20,000 for head-butting a referee after his ejection from a game against New Jersey.

Dec. 10, 1996: Suspended for two games without pay after a profanity-filled tirade on live television after his ejection from a Dec. 8 game in Toronto.

Jan. 15, 1997: Kicked a courtside cameraman in the groin during a game at Minnesota.

Pub Date: 1/17/97

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