JORDAN TAKES STAND: Free agent Michael Jordan warned Friday he won't stand for the drawn-out negotiations that came with signing Phil Jackson to another season as the Chicago Bulls' coach.
"If I feel the situation is something I'm unhappy with, I'll walk away in a heartbeat," he said after playing in the first round of the Celebrity Golf Association's Chicago Classic at White Eagle Golf Club.Jackson's one-year deal is reportedly for about $2.5 million. Rumors had circulated for weeks that the coach might not return because of supposedly acrimonious contract talks.
The Bulls soon will begin negotiations with free agents Jordan and Dennis Rodman.
MIAMI'S OFFER TO 'ZO: The Miami Heat will offer free agent center Alonzo Mourning a $13 million annual contract for four or five years, a newspaper reported Friday.
The Heat lowered its amount after Mourning's poor performance in the playoffs against NBA champion Chicago, the West Palm Beach Post reported, quoting league sources.
The numbers being reported for Mourning are far below the $102 million, six-year deal that was rumored in April and denied by owner Micky Arison.
Mourning has been seeking a seven-year deal in the $15 million to $17 million-a-year range. His contract is expected to average about $2 million a year less than Orlando Magic center Shaquille O'Neal.
The Magic will offer O'Neal a four-year, $54.76 million contract, $13.69 million a year, but are willing to increase their offer for O'Neal to $15.5 million a year.
One player the Heat will pursue is Denver center Dikembe Mutombo, another Falk client, the Post reported. Mourning and Mutombo played for three seasons on the same front line at Georgetown.
Miami, according to one league coach, is attempting to persuade Mutombo to play power forward alongside Mourning.
CAL STAR BACK IN DRAFT: In another reversal, California forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim now says he will enter the NBA Draft, his college coach said Friday.
Abdur-Rahim, 19, the Pacific-10 Conference's leading scorer and freshman of the year last season, announced in May he was entering the draft. He changed his mind less than a month later.
"He's going to stay in the draft," coach Todd Bozeman said in a telephone interview.
Doubts about whether Abdur-Rahim really planned to remain in school surfaced when the NBA offices had not received a letter requesting he be removed from Wednesday's draft.
If the letter was not received by league offices by 5 p.m. EST Monday, then Abdur-Rahim was automatically entered in the draft. He may still choose to remain at Cal, but any team that drafts him will retain his rights for a year after he leaves school.
Abdur-Rahim averaged 21.1 points and 8.4 rebounds last season, and set a Cal freshman scoring record.