Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Time to Be Bull-Headed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Time to Be Bull-Headed

Article excerpt

Take a good look at the Chicago Bulls now, because if owner

Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Jerry Krause do what's

fiscally right, they should never be the same when this NBA

playoff run is over.

Even if the vulnera-Bulls manage to find that higher gear and

successfully defend their NBA title, it's time for this

franchise to undergo a complete makeover. And if that means

forcing Michael Jordan into retirement, so be it.

All the Bulls would do by hanging on to this team for another

year is running the risk of becoming the Boston Celtics, who are

still paying the price from not trading stars Kevin McHale and

Robert Parish in the late 1980s while they still had value.

Reinsdorf and Krause should re-shuffle the cards now before the

price to keep Scottie Pippen and head coach Phil Jackson gets

too steep. And, more importantly, before the pain of watching

this dynasty crumble starts manifesting itself next season.

Who knows, as shaky as Chicago has looked in the playoffs

against the Washington Bullets and Atlanta Hawks, the end could

still happen during this "Drive for Five."

The Bulls' options come down to basically this: (1) Pay Jackson

an obscene amount of money to stay one more season, and make a

long-term commitment to Pippen, who becomes a free agent after

next season; or (2) Let Jackson become a free agent, allowing

him to coach in Orlando, Golden State or wherever, and trade

Pippen now while you can still get a dependable younger player

(maybe a Kevin Garnett if the Bulls throw something else in the

package) in return to build for the future.

Under the first option, Jordan, still the game's best player,

comes back for one last shot at glory because his two most

important running mates -- Jackson and Pippen -- will be there.

But what Bulls' management must keep in mind is that the

long-term price of not retooling the roster now could be

devastating.

Does Reinsdorf really want to pay an exorbitant amount of cash

to keep Jackson and Jordan one more year if he doesn't think the

Bulls can win it all again? …

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