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Ben Gordon says Chicago Bulls never made him a deal

The guard, who agreed to a five-year, $50-million deal with the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, says his old team 'didn't pursue me at all.'

July 03, 2009|Associated Press

A day after jumping to Detroit, Ben Gordon told a Chicago radio station Thursday that the Bulls never made a contract offer even though General Manager Gar Forman claimed re-signing him was their No. 1 priority.

"I mean they didn't pursue me at all. They didn't even make an offer, so it was pretty much a one-man race," Gordon told ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago.

Gordon agreed to a five-year deal worth more than $50 million with the Pistons on Wednesday after leading the Bulls in scoring the last four seasons. Under league rules, that deal can't be announced until next week.

Forman declined to comment. He said when he was promoted to GM in May that the Bulls wanted to keep Gordon, but that would have probably meant paying the luxury tax and sacrificing cap space they could have next summer. It also would have meant a crowd in the backcourt.

Shaq in Cleveland

Shaquille O'Neal made his debut in Cleveland with a stated goal for next season. LeBron James craves a championship, and O'Neal is here to serve.

"My motto is very simple," O'Neal said. " 'Win a ring for the King.' "

Acquired last week in a trade with the Phoenix Suns, O'Neal was welcomed by a team that believes he can bring the city its first major pro sports crown in 45 years.

Flanked by Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry and Coach Mike Brown, O'Neal held court for nearly half an hour in front of an audience that included team owner Dan Gilbert, media members, season-ticket holders, corporate partners and kids from a summer camp.

Kidding around

Donnie Walsh says he will consider giving more than a one-year deal to a free agent, following a report that he plans to do that with Jason Kidd.

ESPN.com, citing sources close to the process, reported that the Knicks would offer a three-year deal to the point guard. The Knicks hosted Kidd and his agent Wednesday on the first day of free agency and are hoping he'll leave Dallas to come to New York.

The midlevel exception is $5.6 million for the first year, and Walsh said last week he wouldn't give a multiyear deal to a free agent unless he could move another contract off his payroll. The Knicks want to be major players in free agency next summer but still have about $18 million committed to Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries in the 2010-11 season.

Also, veteran forward Grant Hill will visit the Knicks on Monday, agent Lon Babby said. Hill played for Knicks Coach Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix.

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