A moratorium resembling a no-lockout, no-strike pledge was discussed during an NBA collective bargaining session as a way to reinstate 12 players who were removed from the U.S. world championships team.

Seven of the 12 expelled players met by conference call with commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Russ Granik, union director Billy Hunter and union president Patrick Ewing.FIBA, the international federation that runs the championships, gave USA Basketball an extension until the end of this month for submitting a 24-man roster. Additional changes can be made until 72 hours before the tournament.

SONICS HIRE WESTPHAL: The Seattle SuperSonics hired Paul Westphal to succeed fired coach George Karl.

The four-year contract is reportedly worth between $1 million and $1.5 million per season. Five years ago Westphal took the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals but was fired during the 1995-96 season.

Karl, who had the best winning percentage of any coach in Sonics' history at 71.9, was fired two weeks after Seattle (61-21) was eliminated following four consecutive losses to the Lakers.

In three-plus seasons as Suns coach, Westphal was 191-88. He became the winningest rookie coach in NBA history in 1992-93 when Phoenix went 62-20.

WILLIAMS NOT INTERESTED: It seems so simple. Just get on a plane and fly to Chicago to watch the Bulls play the Utah Jazz in the NBA's championship series.

Roy Williams wanted to do it, wanted to watch his former Kansas Jayhawks Jacque Vaughn and Greg Ostertag go against the Bulls and his good friend Michael Jordan, whom he helped Dean Smith coach at North Carolina.

But he didn't dare. If he'd been spotted, as he most certainly would have been, that would have only fueled more rumors that the highly successful Kansas coach was about to replace Phil Jackson as the next coach of Chicago's NBA champions.

Since Williams and Jordan are good friends, speculation has gone, the Bulls will hire him to replace Phil Jackson and thus entice Jordan to stick around and go for a seventh NBA championship.

AND THEN THERE'S KARL: Meanwhile, George Karl is campaigning to become the next head coach of the Chicago Bulls.

The former Seattle SuperSonics coach said he wants to coach "the greatest basketball player in the world" - Michael Jordan.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday that Karl has delivered the instructions to his agent, Bret Adams.

"That would be the highlight of my coaching career," Karl told his agent, according to the Sun-Times report. "It's what I want to do."