Who Pulled Out of the Pippen Deal and Why Does Dino Radja Keep Saying Ouch?

June 28, 1997

The "sweetener" the Chicago Bulls were looking for in the proposed Scottie Pippen deal on draft day was Eric Williams. Coach Rick Pitino never once put Antoine Walker on the table.

The Celtics claimed they walked away from the trade; the Bulls say they pulled back. Who is lying?

Red Auerbach, when asked why the Celtics didn't follow through on having Dino Radja examined by a neutral doctor in the arbitration process: "Because it would have been a farce. Every time the guy touched Radja, he'd start yelling 'ouch.' "

If Radja couldn't pass the Philly physical, then it stands to reason he wouldn't pass a Boston physical. So why not flunk him on the physical, put him on waivers in the hope that a team would claim him, and get his cap money back?

Pitino wanted to make the deal, and the only question is, why didn't he pull it off? The Bulls said three No. 1's weren't enough (although that was enough for Chris Webber and Penny Hardaway). Dee Brown? That may have been Pitino's idea of a sweetener, but the Bulls viewed it as arsenic. Chicago would have done the deal with Antoine Walker. That wasn't going to be a happenin' thing and the Bulls knew that. Would Eric Williams have closed the deal? Who knows? At this point, it's moot. But if Pitino really wanted this one, then Williams should have been dangled. With Pippen around, Williams is expendable anyway. But Pitino backed away at the end. Down the road, that may well be the best thing for the franchise.

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