Dick Motta said last night that he told the Washington Bullets two weeks ago he would be willing to coach here for the final year of his contract, but that he did not want to sing a long-term contract with the team and preferred to coach somewhere else next season.
Motta, reached in Montana, said he had been in San Antonio the last couple of days talking to the Spurs about coaching there, but no job had been offered to him yet.
"I didn't have much fun coaching last season," Motta said, "and I just think it's time to move on.There was a time to leave Grace (Idaho), a time to leave the Bulls and now it's time to leave the Bullets. My stay there was a chapter in my life, but now it's time to turn the page.
"There has to be some fun in life and the memories of those first three years in Washington, the 'fat lady,' winning the championship and all of that are much too important for me to defile. I want to leave here with those good memories.
"My instincts just tell me it's time to move. I just hope now that I can get a job."
Motta said he prefers a warm city, a West Coast city, but said he is very interested in San Antonio.
"I want to make sure that if I move again, it's to someplace I want to go and I did like San Antonio," he said.
Motta said the Spurs had contacted the Bullets and were given permission to talk to him.
"We had a good visit," Motta said. "I met with General Manager Bob Bass and with the owner (Angelo Drossos). It was just a chance for us to get together. There was no contract talk. It was left where we would both get back to each other."
Motta added that there are not many jobs open in the league.
"Dallas doesn't apparently want me and I don't think I want to go to Detroit," he said.
There also is a vacancy in San Diego since Gene Shue left two days ago.
Motta said he might be interested in that job, but hasn't talked with anyone there about it yet.
The leading candidate to replace Motta, assuming he does leave the Bullets, apparently is Shue.
Current Bullet Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who also was K.C. Jones' assistant here, said he would not want to become the Bullet coach "at this time."
"Every person has to be in his element and I don't feel that the pressure that would go with the job would allow me to be in the state of mind I'd have to be in to be successful here," Bickerstaff said.
"I want a job as bad as anyone in the NBA and I think I deserve a job as much as any assistant, but I can't afford a failure."
The key factor, apparently, in Motta's decision to leave the Bullets and Bickerstaff's reluctance to replace him is owner Abe Pollin's desire to keep last year's team basically intact.
Neither wants to coach that collection of players again.