Reinsdorf Knew All along What He Had to Do

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Imrem

I was at Medinah Country Club the other day...

(That's a story in itself, a prestigious golf club allowing me to even set foot on their grounds, much less hack it up.)

... and Michael Jordan happened to be participating in the same charity outing.

One look at him eliminated any doubt in my mind Phil Jackson would return to coach the Bulls.

Jordan was laughing and joking, playing around with a couple youngsters, renewing an acquaintance with Hall of Fame golfer Billy Casper, chomping on a cigar, generally at peace with himself, the Bulls and the world.

Not even a tee shot into the pond at No. 17 on Medinah No. 3, not even a reload into the bunker, not even what I counted up to be a triple-bogey 6, none of it seemed to annoy Jordan.

This clearly wasn't a man worried about spending the rest of his life chasing Amy - a term I'll explain later if you haven't seen the movie.

Watching Jordan, I figured Jackson's pivotal contract would get done. If Jordan himself wasn't concerned that the greatest basketball career in history might end over something as silly as his coach's contract, why should we be?

Sure enough, Wednesday came the official announcement from the Bulls that Jackson agreed to a one-year contract allowing him to try for a sixth championship in eight years.

Now Jordan soon will sign for $30something million and try to win his sixth title in his last six full seasons.

Scottie Pippen hasn't been traded yet, so the assumption must be that he'll be back. My guess is Dennis Rodman will be, too, because Jackson wants him here.

Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf simply didn't have the energy to fight public opinion mixed with Jordan opinion over the issue of whether to keep the Bulls intact for another season.

Given time, Reinsdorf often will do the right thing, and giving this group of players and coaches another season together is the right thing to do.

Who knows, maybe Reinsdorf made up his mind after seeing "Chasing Amy," a movie from which I drew a couple conclusions. …