No Jordan? No problem for Reinsdorf

January 15, 1999|By KEN ROSENTHAL

Hi, my name is Jerry Reinsdorf. I'm still a little sad, you know. Well, at least that's what I said. And what good is being an owner if you can't fib like the President? Or Pinocchio, for that matter?

Truth is, Jan. 14, 1999, was Independence Day for the Chicago Bulls franchise. Thank goodness, we don't have to worry about that Jordan guy anymore.

So much fame, so much power, so much money -- too much for one man! So many titles, so many contracts, so many rings to purchase -- too much for one owner!

Maybe you saw me stumbling around the dais when MJ announced his retirement. I just couldn't wait to get back to work, back to the task at hand.

Oh, how I love rebuilding.

My trusted lieutenant, Jerry Krause, is ready to roll now that Jordan, Phil Jackson and Co. are finally out of the way, and this silly idea of winning championships is over.

Our coach-puppet, Tim Floyd, is already in place. We are ready to acquire some new player-puppets, devoid of any personality and skills.

MJ this, MJ that -- enough already!

The two Jerrys are in control.

Scottie Pippen thinks the Bulls would have won two more titles if both he and Jordan returned? The two Jerrys don't need any more headaches -- you understand those, Scottie. The two Jerrys will carry on, thank you very much.

NBA commissioner David Stern said he disagreed that Jordan's retirement was a "sad" day, calling it a "great" day.

Bud Selig would never challenge me that way in public, but I'm not angry at Stern. It was a great day. Only problem was, I couldn't get Michael out of the building soon enough.

But enough about the Bulls -- they've been a burden for too long.

Excuse me, I've got to go trade Frank Thomas.

Hi, my name is Mike Tyson. Got a problem with that?

I've got a fight tomorrow night. I'm trying to cut down on my profanity, regain my self-esteem. And man, I just can't wait to sink my teeth into Francois Botha.

Oops, did I say that? You'll have to forgive me. I was raised on the streets. Anything I say or do, I really can't be held responsible.

I'd like to thank the Nevada Athletic Commission for giving me this second -- I mean, third -- chance. I'm the baddest man on the planet, or used to be. Whatever, they're still paying me, aren't they?

I'm guaranteed $20 million after a 19-month layoff. That's more than Evander Holyfield will get for defending his title against Lennox Lewis. But why not? Evander just fights. You never know what I'll do next.

Anyway, I hope I'm ready for Botha.

As usual, I've got all these distractions.

I'm scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 5 in Montgomery County on misdemeanor assault charges to which I've pleaded no contest. An Indiana judge is going to rule on whether I've violated my parole. Don King is suing me. I'm suing him.

Why won't everyone just leave me alone?

I can't answer that question, but a six-man team of psychiatrists, psychologists and neurologists at Massachusetts General Hospital concluded that it would be good for me to get back in the ring.

So, here I am, and nobody's calling me Tirin' Mike yet.

You can plunk down $200 to $1,200 to watch me live at the MGM in Las Vegas, or save yourself the airfare and plunk down $45.95 on pay-per-view.

Hate to take a bite out of your wallet, but a man's got to live.

Hi, my name is Ed Rendell. I'm the mayor of Philadelphia. But you can call me Ed from Philly.

I mean, you expect me to just roll over after what Green Bay general manager Ron Wolf said when he hired our old coach, Ray Rhodes?

Wolf insulted every fine citizen of this city, calling Philadelphia "the worst situation in the NFL."

Some people insist he was only talking about the 3-13 Eagles, but I know an insult when I hear one. I wrote Wolf a nasty letter, then called a talk show -- I mean, news conference.

Here's what I told the media, and these are actual quotes:

"We can look at this as a little bit of a joke, but Ron Wolf's statement is carried on ESPN all over the country, and to people who've never been in Philadelphia, all of a sudden, there's somebody in a respectable position, Green Bay Packers, saying [that] Philadelphia is the worst situation to be in? We're not going to stand for that stuff."

Yo, I wasn't finished.

"ESPN probably won't carry my letter, but I hope they do. Because I'm sick and tired of being a punching bag. You know, someone told me that the the fans in Green Bay actually hung Dan Devine's dog because he was the Packers' coach and wasn't doing well [in the 1970s].

"Some fans, obviously not all, but they hung him! Did him in! A dog! All we've done is throw a few snowballs at Santa Claus. I mean, good Lord. But I didn't say that in my letter, because I don't cast aspersions on other cities."

And you thought Schmoke was good on Leno.

You know, some people think I'm one of the best mayors in the country. In fact, Philly is in such good shape, this job has become almost easy.

What can I tell you?

I've got too much time on my hands.

Pub Date: 1/15/99

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