Floyd says he's not looking to hitch ride out of Chicago

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Three awful seasons have given Chicago Bulls coach Tim Floyd the worst start of anyone in NBA history, and the fourth is looking equally dismal.

As the losses pile up again, Floyd's frustration is beginning to show, even though he says he's not going to quit.

"I'm going to coach here until they don't want me to coach here," he said.

The Bulls began the season 1-13 for a third year in a row and were 2-13 going into Tuesday night's game against the Houston Rockets. They've endured the worst loss in team history, and last week they set a franchise low with six points in a quarter.

With little hope for much improvement, tempers apparently flared Monday. Citing unnamed team sources, the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times reported Tuesday that Floyd held a team meeting where he told his players he was going to ask general manager Jerry Krause to be relieved of his duties.

Floyd is under contract through the 2004-05 season and reportedly makes nearly $2 million a year.

Meeting took place

Krause confirmed that he met with Floyd but told both papers that Floyd didn't ask to be fired and never talked about quitting. While Floyd never denied either story Tuesday, he said repeatedly that he won't quit.

"The media has expectations after a lot of losing. They expect a guy to quit, they expect a guy to walk away," said Floyd, who is 47-182 in three-plus seasons with the Bulls. "But I'm not into that. I'm not into that. I'm going to continue to try to coach and continue to try and get this team better."

The Bulls are in their third stage of rebuilding since Krause broke up the championship bunch in 1998, after they won their sixth NBA title. His first plan -- to get as far under the salary cap as possible and horde money to lure free agents -- failed as free agents spurned Chicago's cash in favor of teams that could win faster.

The second plan was to build through the draft, and the Bulls used the No. 1 pick in 1999 on Elton Brand. But after going 15-67 last season, Krause decided that plan wasn't working, either.

So he took a huge gamble on draft day, taking high schooler Eddy Curry with the fourth pick. He then traded Brand to the Los Angeles Clippers for the rights to Tyson Chandler, another high schooler, who was the second pick of the draft.

"This year is not a whole lot unlike year two, when it was really OK to rebuild," said Floyd, who's grown weary of the incessant questioning about the rookies' limited playing time. Chandler and Curry have seemed confused about their roles at times.

"You try to educate the masses, you try to let people know that I was perfectly fine with that in year two," Floyd added. "It's unfortunate that right now we're there again in year four, but we feel it's in the best interest of the franchise to approach it that way."

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