I don't know about you, but I subscribe to John Stockton's theory that thinking too much can hurt you. That's the problem with algebra. That's where the Jazz went wrong during their long layoff.

Thinking can be bad for your health - look at that fellow Ted Kaczynski - so I'm going to keep this simple. This is the first column that doesn't require thinking, or even recommend it. It's easy on the mind. It's several tiny, easy-to-read columns in one, all for the same everyday low price.After Game 1, a reporter asked Bryon Russell, "Was it your rust or their fatigue?" Greg Foster

was given a multiple-choice question: "How much of it was rust, how much of it was nerves and how much of it was Chicago?" This is an example of way too much thinking.

If over-thinking were a fatal disease, the majority of fans and media would be wiped out in a month.

Why do I cringe every time I hear the Delta Center crowd chanting "Bull Busters?" That's what I thought (pardon the expression).

Another question Russell was

asked: "How big was Stockton down the stretch?" Answer I wish I had given: Still six-one.

Michael Jordan got a piano moved into his hotel room this week. He never leaves his room on road trips anyway, and this seemed like a good way to kill time. He played it for three hours on Wednesday, waiting for Game 1, and then again after the game. His favorite tune: "I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends."

"I just play," he said. "I just push the keys. It's relaxation for me."

Jordan revealed that he is taking lessons from his personal NBC interviewer, Ahmad Ras-had. "Mike and I like to sit there and bang the keys together," Rashad explained. Somehow, this news killed a nice story.

Doesn't Rashad have any other major megastar millionaire friends he can suck up to? I suspect we all know what Rashad is teaching Jordan to play: "I Want to Be Like Mike."

Too bad that Jordan & Rashad are bothering their neighbor with their piano playing. The guy downstairs can hear every note and doesn't like it one bit. A guy named Phil Jackson.

By the way, NBC didn't do much thinking when it allowed Rashad to do those commercials for Jordan, did it? Very occasional thinking does have its merits.

What did you think (pardon the expression) when Jackson turned to his bench the other night to send Dennis Rodman into the game and Rodman wasn't there? Rodman, we learned, was in the training room riding an exercise bike, so Jackson had to send Dickey Simpkins into the game instead and send an invitation to Rodman to please join the team - as long as he was in the neighborhood.

This is a novel suggestion, but maybe if Rodman ran up and down the court a few times without pausing to scan the crowd or refusing to join fast breaks he could actually get exercise during a game. It's been known to happen.

After an all-night gambling binge in Las Vegas just hours after Game 1, Rodman returned to Salt Lake in time for a noon practice Friday, but not in a good mood. When a reporter accidentally stepped on his foot, he refused to speak to the media.

Jackson said he didn't mind Rodman's Vegas vacation. "We worked out an agreement that as long as practice isn't missed and as long as he is able to have a little space and time to recover, this is going to be OK . . . It's not something that will be nightly."

A demanding coach, this Jackson.

Remember when people used to make a big deal out of players golfing between games?

According to a financial firm in Chicago, the longer the Jazz-Bulls series goes, the worse it will be on the city's economy. Challenger, Gray & Christmas (nice name) says if workers spend five minutes a day chatting about the Bulls it will cost the economy $7.5 million per day in lost productivity. If the series goes seven games, that adds up to some $90 million.

I would love to tell you how they arrived at this figure - but I'm not going to. Too much thinking.

This started me to thinking (I do all the thinking for you; don't try this at home). How costly was the final episode of Seinfeld when America stood around for a month trying to guess the plot? We probably could have bought Canada and paid off the national debt for what we lost during the O.J. trial. I don't even want to know what that Lew-in-ski woman cost the country. Or Di's funeral.

That does it. From now on, no more deaths or scandals.

Think of it this way: If the Bulls were civic-minded, they'd lose in four.

You knew the Jazz weren't playing the Lakers and Rockets when . . . Jeff Hornacek offered Scottie Pippen a hand and helped him off the floor, and Dennis Rodman patted Karl Malone on the back. If they're not careful, an epidemic of sportsmanship will break out.

Question: Who is Dickey Simpkins?