Scottie Pippen isn’t talking about his demand to be traded. Phil Jackson thinks it’s a joke. And Michael Jordan says he doesn’t know what is going on.
Just another day in the life of the Chicago Bulls.
It isn’t normal if the five-time NBA champions are not in some sort of turmoil. So it was almost business as usual for the Bulls in the wake of Pippen’s statements Sunday night in Sacramento that he wanted to be traded.
Pippen wasn’t talking Monday after the Bulls, who face the Seattle SuperSonics tonight, worked out in KeyArena.
But Pippen, who is a free agent after this season, is unhappy that Bulls management refuses to give him a long-term contract to compensate him for being underpaid the past few years.
Pippen makes less than $3 million this season, well below his market value in a league where players without championships are earning $15 million a year.
Bulls general manager Jerry Krause has made it clear that after this season, the Bulls will not re-sign Pippen, Jordan, Jackson or Dennis Rodman. And Pippen said he should be rewarded for his past success with a large contract from the Bulls to make up for the money he has missed out on.
“I ain’t coming back,” Pippen told the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald on Sunday night. “I want to be traded. I want to go to Phoenix or L.A.”
Pippen said the thing that finally set him off was a letter from Krause in the summer telling Pippen that because of his injured foot, he could not play in his own charity game. Pippen said Krause threatened to fine him if he did play.
“Can you believe it?” Pippen said.
Pippen had surgery on his foot in October and is expected to be out until December or possibly January. But when Pippen was told he would not be traded if he was injured, he said, “Maybe I’m healthy.” Monday, his only comment was, “I’m fine.”
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