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NBA PLAYOFFS | NOTES

Reports: Orlando Offers Jackson $25-$30 Million

May 15, 1997|From Associated Press

Phil Jackson, trying to guide the Chicago Bulls to their fifth NBA title in seven years, is the top choice to coach the Orlando Magic, according to published reports.

The Chicago Sun-Times and the Orlando Sentinel, both quoting unidentified sources, reported Wednesday that the Magic plans to make Jackson a lucrative offer. The Chicago Tribune reported that a source close to Jackson confirmed that the Magic has extended an offer and is pressuring him for a decision.

The Sun-Times said terms would be five years, $25 million. Both the Tribune and the Orlando paper said five years, $30 million. Either contract would make Jackson one of the highest-paid coaches in sports history.

Jackson has a clause in his Chicago contract letting him negotiate with other teams during the playoffs. He is working under a one-year, $2.75-million deal.

Bull General Manager Jerry Krause and Todd Musburger, Jackson's agent, declined comment. Jackson has refused to talk about his contract situation. Magic General Manager John Gabriel also declined comment.

Orlando fired Brian Hill as coach after a player revolt during the season and replaced him with Richie Adubato.

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Karl Malone has edged Chicago's Michael Jordan for the most valuable player honor, the Salt Lake Tribune quoted an unidentified league source as saying.

The official announcement will come Sunday, said the newspaper, adding that Commissioner David Stern will present the trophy to Malone on Monday night at the Delta Center, before Game 1 or 2 of the Western Conference finals between Utah and the Houston Rocket-Seattle SuperSonic winner.

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Rick Pitino will be paid $50 million--not $70 million--to run the Boston Celtics for the next 10 years, according to a broadcast report. The confusion, according to NBC: Pitino will be paid $7 million a year to coach for six years, but after that the deal calls for $2 million a year for four years as president.

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