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Karl Goes After the Bulls’ Job

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Former Seattle SuperSonic coach George Karl is campaigning for the same job with the Chicago Bulls, even though owner Jerry Reinsdorf said team investors would all like Phil Jackson to return.

Karl, however, isn’t hiding his desire to coach the Bulls and fellow North Carolina alumnus Michael Jordan, if Jackson doesn’t return.

“I want to coach the greatest basketball player in the world,” Karl told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday. “That would be the highlight of my coaching career. It’s what I want to do.”

The newspaper said Karl would be willing to take a one-year deal for a low salary for the opportunity to coach Jordan.

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Reinsdorf introduced Jackson at a private dinner for team investors Wednesday night.

“Phil certainly knows that there’s not a person in this room who doesn’t want him to come back and coach next season,” Reinsdorf said in Chicago.

“But that’s a decision he’s going to have to make for himself.”

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An NBA lockout seems less certain, with Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik saying a no-strike, no-lockout moratorium is possible even without a new labor contract by July 1.

“We said we’d consider it, but only in the context of whether it was good or not for the bargaining process,” Granik said, one day after the players’ union proposed a moratorium as a way of restoring 12 NBA players to the world championship roster.

The league and the union have made little progress in almost two months of talks, and both sides had toughened in anticipation of a lockout after the labor agreement expires June 30.

Union director Billy Hunter said that any moratorium must allow teams to make trades and sign free agents.

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Granik indicated that if a moratorium took effect, it would not expire after the world championships. A more likely date would be Oct. 1, right before the start of training camps.

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Sacramento King guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who gained notoriety for his refusal to stand for the national anthem two years ago because of his Islamic beliefs, signed a two-year, $3.4 million contract with the Turkish club Fenerabache.

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Junior Lee Nailon of Texas Christian was among seven players with remaining college or other eligibility who withdrew their names from eligibility for the NBA draft.

Others who withdrew by Wednesday’s deadline were Rico Harris of L.A. City College, Bud Eley from Southeast Missouri State, Lamar Odom of Rhode Island and Marko Jaric, Sasa Markovic-Theodorakis, and Dimitris Papanikolaou who play in Greece.


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