"One more."

The seven letters were all that was written - all that needed to be written - on the diagram board in the Bulls' locker room at the United Center after Chicago's 86-82 victory Wednesday night.One more will probably happen tonight. Maybe Sunday. Definitely by Wednesday.

There are minuscule amounts of doubt remaining, if any, that the Bulls will snatch one more win over the Jazz and get one more three-peat.

If the Bulls had their druthers - and they usually do - their one more will come tonight at the United Center.

Then they wouldn't have to wait to indulge in one more champagne-soaked party. One more last dance. One more parade down Michigan Avenue.

"We'd love to get this thing done here in Chicago, in front of our fans," said Michael Jordan.

What they abhor is the possibility of one more trip to Salt Lake City.

"Like I said, I don't want to go back to Utah," said Chicago's up-and-coming pro wrestler/clutch free-throw shooter Dennis Rodman at Thursday's media session.

"The ironic thing about all this is that we don't want it to end, and yet we can't wait for it to be over. It's a strange feeling," said Bulls guard Steve Kerr. "Obviously, we don't want to make it go any longer than we have to, because if we have to go back to Salt Lake, it changes everything."

But one more win may be the hardest to get.

"When you're trying to finish off things, sometimes it's hard," said Jordan, who's never let that stop him before. "You've got a lot of thoughts; things can creep in. You start making plans to do other things. And you forget about the real focus, which is the game."

A PECULIAR PEOPLE: During last year's finals, Rodman was fined a record-high $50,000 by the NBA and got chastised by the NAACP for his offensive remarks against members of the LDS Church. The Worm was back to verbally slamming the Beehive State on Thursday.

"I have no business in Utah at all," he said. "Those people are a different breed."

QUIET RIOT PLEASE: Speaking of championship celebrations, in anticipation of winning the title tonight, Jordan pleaded with the rowdy residents of Chicago to party wisely.

"We are prepared for the worst. I think it's great to celebrate, but we don't want to tear up our city to do that," Jordan said. "It's good to have a good time, and it's always an opportunity to do something stupid. Hopefully you can control your attitude a little bit and control your decision making."

Not bad advice for mourning Utahns, either.

THE EX-FILES: So much for the theory that The Worm shrivels when matched against Karl Malone.

"The only person that I am even intimidated by is my ex-wife," Rodman said Thursday. "If he (Malone) wants to be my ex-wife, then I'm intimidated."

Would that be his original ex-wife or the ex-wife from the time he married himself?

MOST VALUABLE PIPPEN: Scottie Pippen, whose defensive performance has set the tone for Chicago this series, was asked if it should be his turn to be named the MVP of the NBA Finals. Jordan was the Finals MVP in the Bulls' five other championships.

"I don't know," Pippen replied. "Should it?"

Yes. Thanks for asking. Next question, please.

RODMAN PAYS RESPECTS: On a solemn note, Rodman, who grew up in Dallas, talked about what he thinks will happen to the three white men in Texas who allegedly killed James Byrd Jr., a black man, by dragging him behind their pickup truck for two miles earlier this week.

"In Texas, I think they believe in the death penalty, so I think that's what's gonna happen in the end," he said. "Anywhere else in the country, they don't really believe in the death penalty. They give you life or three times the sentence or whatever. In Texas, I think they'll get the death penalty."

Rodman has offered to pay for the funeral, but he isn't planning on attending the services Saturday in Jasper, Texas.

"I don't think I'll go. I think I did enough," he said. "My heart goes out to the family, and it's a damn shame when something like this happens."