Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause wants Michael Jordan to return next season. But there's a catch - Jordan will have to play for a new coach.
"We want him back. We are not driving anybody out. We're not driving Michael out of here - that's bull," Krause said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.
The Bulls, five-time champions in the 1990s, are expected to start rebuilding next year. And one person who won't be a part of that is coach Phil Jackson, who's already said he's not coming back.
Jordan has said repeatedly he won't play for any coach other than Jackson.
"If Michael chooses to leave because there is another coach here, then it is his choice and not ours," Krause said.
If Jordan, who turns 35 this month, does return, "he will have to play for someone else," Krause said.
At a morning practice before playing the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night, Jordan said it again. "If Jackson goes, so does he.
"This is it. I'm done," he said. That statement really validates what my beliefs are and what my decision is going to be at the end of the season."
Krause, who's had a strained relationship with Jordan and Jackson over the years, said there is no time set for talking with Jordan about his future. Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf does the contract negotiating with Jordan, who makes $36 million this year.
"The decision on Michael will just have to take a proper time when we will sit down and talk," Krause said. "We will talk about what he wants to do and what the situation is withthe franchise and who is going to be here, and what our (salary) cap situation is.
"We would like to have Michael back. But Michael is going to have to play for someone else. It isn't going to be Phil."
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