Guard Dave Bing said yesterday that he will not return to the Bullets for another season unless the team promises that he will receive more playing time than he did last season.
"I'm not looking for guarantees, but I have to know I'll have a bigger role on the team for me to come back," said Bing from his summer camp in Pocono Hills, Pa.
He admitted that the Bullets probably will decide not to make any such commitments to him.
"Whether I come back is up to them," he said. "But it probably isn't likely. They've committed themselves to a youth movement. It's good business. They're building for the future."
Bing, 33, came to the Bullets following the 1974-75 season in a controversial trade that sent playmaker Kevin Porter to Detroit.
After making the 1975-76 secondteam NBA all-star squad, Bing was benched early last season. He did not play in 18 of the Bullets' last 44 games. Before leaving the area for his home in Detroit, he criticized Bullet coach Dick Motta, saying Motta did not relate to the players and did not coach that well.
Bullet general manager Bob Ferry said he had not talked to Bing since the end of the season but planned to do so within a couple of weeks.
"I haven't totally made a decision as to how he fits into our plans," said Ferry. "A lot of that will be up Dave. We want to sign our draft choices and then see where that leaves us. Remember, one of those choices is a guard (second-round pick Phil Walker from Millersville State).
"I know Dave wasn't that happy when he left here. I don't know how things will come out in our talks."
Ferry said Bing is in the option year of a three-year contract. Bing said that if the Bullets drop him, he will become a free agent and will then be able to make a deal for himself with another team.
"I have a trade-approval clause in my contract," he said. "After 11 years in this league, they aren't going to deal me away without me having a say in it."
When Bing, a product of Washington's Spingarn High, was traded to the Bullets, he said it was "one of the happiest days of my life." But what happened to him last season - "the way I was treated" - was the "worst thing I ever went through."
"I know I was brought in here to improve an already good team," he said. "I was very happy my first year but I was disappointed we didn't go further than we did. Last year, well, I never went to go through that again."
In 1975, the Bullets felt that Bing, who long had been one of the NBA's best guards, was good enough to lead them to the NBA title. They sacrificed the exciting Porter in what admittedly was a gamble. And they lost.
From a 60-22 record in 1974-75 with Porter as the playmaker, the Bullets were 48-34 in Bing's first year dispite his 16-point average. He was replaced last season by rookie Larry Wright and then Tom Henderson, who was obtained in a trade from Atlanta.
Near the end of the season, he was used exclusively as a backup for shooter Phil Chenier. It was then that Bing said he realized he still had a future in the game.
"I averaged something like 15 points a game in that role," he said. "It showed me I could still do it and do it well.
"I know I can start for most of the teams in this league and I can help most of them. With my age and salary, I may have to take a pay cut, but that's something I can adjust to if I can see a future in it.
"If not, it won't kill me tp retire.I've had 11 great years which I'll always remember. That's enough for any man."
Bing said he could accept a reserve role with the Bullets, even as a backup to Phil," as long as it meant 12 to 15 minutes of playing time a game.
"But I don't want to sit on nobody's bench for all but three or four minutes. I'm too good for that," he said. "Right now, I'm the fourth or fifth guard, beind Phil and larry and Tom. If I start, I can score 20 points a game, but so can Phil and he's five years younger, so why shouldn't they go with him?"
Binb said his quarrel isn't with the Bullets management but with Motta.
"I could accept what happened if we improved but we didn't when I sat down," he said. "Our record (48-34) was the game as when I started the year before.
"He never explained to me why he did it. That's not the type of person he is. I could have caused problems during the season but I wanted to do what was best for the team, so I kept my mouth shut.
"I should have played more than I did, but they had to so something to explain what was happening. I was new to the team so it was easier to sit me down than to six down Phil or Wes (Unseld) or Elvin Hayes.
"Then what really bothered me was not playing at all. It was a slap in the face to have a guy like Bob Weiss playing in front of me. He couldn't win my shoes in 50 years. I've got nothing against Bobby, but Motta had to justify bringing him in here, I guess. It was a lousy way to treat me."
Bing admitted that he has slowed some in the last few years and that he may be better suited now to a role as a shooting guard rather than as a playmaker.
But he said he did not "lose all my talent completely" in between seasons, as "some people have implied. I still can shoot. I still can play defense."
He also said his eyes are not a problem. He had surgery for a detached retina in 1972 "but I can see as well as I ever have since the injury. And I've played pretty well since then.
"Funny, when I score a lot of points, there isn't anything wrong with my eyes. But when I make a bad pass, I can't see anymore. It doesn't work that way."
Bing added, "I've never gone after a team in my career. I figure when they are ready to talk to me, they will.
"But I can wait. It's a long summer."