Hopson, King stew idly at end of Bulls bench NBA Finals notes

June 13, 1991|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Correspondent

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Not all the Chicago Bulls will be overjoyed with winning the NBAchampionship, the first in the franchise's 25-year history.

At least two of the players -- guard Dennis Hopson and center-forward Stacey King -- are disgruntled about their lack of playing time, particularly in the playoffs.

Both were all but invisible in the championship series with the Los Angeles Lakers. King, a No. 1 draft pick in 1989 after an All-America career at Oklahoma, played six minutes during the series, four more than Hopson, who was acquired from the New Jersey Nets this season for the Bulls' top draft choice in 1990 and second-round choices in 1991 and 1992. Neither appeared in last night's final game

King, who appears overweight and under-motivated, lost his key off-the-bench role to Will Perdue. By season's end, even rookie forward Scott Williams had passed him in coach Phil Jackson's pecking order. King averaged 4.0 points and 2.9 rebounds, both less than in his rookie season.

"If this year was any indication, I don't think I have any future here," King said. "I don't want to go through another year like this one."

Hopson, who was the third player selected in the 1987 draft and averaged 13.0 points in his three seasons with the Nets, became the fifth guard in the Bulls' backcourt rotation, losing ground to B.J. Armstrong and Craig Hodges.

While the Bulls were rejoicing over their four-game sweep of the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals, Hopson was brooding in a corner.

"I broke down and cried," Hopson said. "I didn't feel like I was part of the team. I felt unwanted."

General manager Jerry Krause says he has no immediate plans to trade King or Hopson, but King reportedly is being dangled as bait for a draft choice.

* Arrivederci? Two Lakers reserves, guard Larry Drew and forward Mychal Thompson, are contemplating playing in Europe next season.

Thompson, 36, has a year remaining on his contract, but could be moved or released to give the Lakers more maneuvering room under the salary cap. Drew, 33, also has a year left, but is considering returning to Italy, where he played during the 1988-89 season.

* Bad advice: Lakers coach Mike Dunleavy said that after his team went down, 3-1, to the Bulls, he was deluged by suggestions on how to turn things around.

"I've heard some unbelievable things that are too embarrassing to mention," he said. "I've got advice from people in rest homes and media types. They sound pretty much the same."

* Mickey Mouse stuff: Michael Jordan has been offered $100,000 for saying, "I'm going to Disney World," after the title clincher. But Jordan said he would agree only if the other four Bulls starters were included. They'll split the fee.

* Under the knife: The Bulls' Williams will undergo surgery to correct his chronically dislocated shoulders. The forecast is that he could miss the first two months of next season.

"I can wait," said Williams, a former North Carolina star. "I've learned a lot about dealing with success this season. When all is wrong, basketball is a sanctuary for me, and that's what I'll focus on."

Williams, a native of Los Angeles, lost both of his parents three years ago in a murder-suicide.

* Rain on parade: One thing troubling Chicagoans is where to hold the victory parade for the Bulls. City aldermen are arguing between downtown and the west-side area adjacent to Chicago Stadium.

Said Jordan, "I've lived in Chicago for seven years, and there hasn't been a day without controversy."

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