"I want to come back and coach this team next year and that's what I expect to do," Dick Motta said last night, home from a four-day vacation with his family.
Motta has one year remaining on his contract as coach of the Bullets.
Owner Abe Pollin and General Manager Bob Ferry said Monday they were satisfied with Motta's handling of Washington's professional basketball team this year and they wanted him back for the final year of his contract.
Motta's name has been mentioned in connection with a number of coaching jobs around the NBA, but he said he has not been contacted about any.
"i want to be successful here," Motta said. "I don't want to run from anything. I never ran from a job in my life and I'm not afraid of the challenge of rebuilding this team.We have a lot of work to do here, and I've always been willing to do it."
Motta scoffed at comments from some of his players that he did not coach as hard this season as in the past and that he lost interest in the team.
"We (Motta and Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff) worked harder this year than ever before," Motta said. "We had to resort to a lot of gimmicks and zones and other things. We didn't practice a lot this year because we usually never had more than nine people available.
"If it looked like I didn't care sometimes it was because I was discouraged. I love to win and each of us has a tendency to feel sorry for ourselves. sometimes. It's hard to hide your real feelings and emotions.
"We didn't win as many games as we did last year or the year before and that makes it tough -- for everybody -- to be as enthused."
Pollin and Ferry have pledged to do whatever it takes to make the Bullets a factor again next season.
Motta was pleased to hear that. But he said if Mitch Kupchak and Bob Dandridge return healthy next year, "we won't need much outside help at all. With those two playing, we'll be among the elite in the league once again. There just aren't many teams around that could have lost two players of their caliber and not have it affect them."
Motta declined to single out any of his players for the team's failures this season, saying it was just a matter of circumstances.
He said, however, that he firmly believes that had Dandridge played all season, things would have been different.
"I waited, everyone waited for Bobby to come back," Motta said. "If he had, things would have been a lot better, but he just never made it back.
"We never did get in sync this year," Motta added. "We were never on top of our game. There were a lot of teams in this league a lot better than us, but this organization doesn't have anything to be ashamed of. This year was a byproduct of the NBA system of punishing the strong and rewarding the weak. We've been strong for so long, that we never got the real high draft choices. Our cycle is a very natural thing, through."
Motta siad he plans to meet soon with Ferry and Pollin and go over what the Bullets will do to try to improve for next season.
The coach said he did not want to speculate on which players would be coming back and which ones wouldn't until he had talked with Ferry and Pollin.
Motta added that he firmly believes in his system and that he will stick with it.
"The attack has to be made inside," he said. "When we were playing well, we shot more free throws than anyone else. We punished teams. That's why Bob Ferry hired me in the first place.
"But because of the injuries and other reasons, most of this season we weren't playing the same way that got us to the top."
The statistics support Motta's theory. Last season only four teams went to the foul line more often than the Bullets, but in this season, the Bullets were 20th out of 22 teams in free throws attempted and the two below them, Golden State and Utah, were among the weakest clubs in the league.