The Washington Bullet's coaching situation remains in limbo because Dick Motta has not yet found a new job.
The Bullets are apparently set to name Gene Shue as Motta's replacement as soon as Motta, who has one year remaining on his contract with the team, gets another job. Motta is reportedly in the running for the openings at Dallas and San Antonio, but said yesterday that he hasn't been offered a job by either team.
The situation raised the possibility -- unlikely as it seems -- that he could return as Bullet coach next season.
It was learned that for the past several weeks, ever since Motta expressed his desire to leave the Bullets, the club has been pressuring him to resign. But Motta isn't budging -- until he lands a job that places him or is paid for the final year of his contract.
"I haven't resigned and I'm under contract to the Bullets until I hear otherwise," Motta said on the telephone from his ranch in Idaho. "All I ever did was ask permission to talk to other teams if they showed interest to me."
Dallas and San Antonio have contacted Motta.
"If I can't get the exact job I want, then I'll be back with the Bullets . . . unless they fire me."
General Manager Bob Ferry, who is in Lexington, Ky., scoutine players at the Olympic trials, said that, as of now, Motta is, indeed, the Bullets' coach and that firing him has not been discussed. Owner Abe Pollin has been unavailable the last few days to discuss the subject.
In another Bullet development, center Wes Unseld said he will play "at least" one more season.
Unseld, 34, said that after talking things over with his wife, Connie, he met with Pollin last week and decided to play next season.
Unseld signed a one-year contract last season for approximately $350,000. The terms of his new contract are not known, but it is believed to be for only one season and at an increase over last year's salary.
Unseld played in all 82 games this season for the first time in four years. He finished third in the league in rebounding, averaging 13.3 per game.
"After talking with Abe and Bob about what they wanted to do with the team and everything, I decided to come back," said Unseld, who has contemplated retirement after each of the last three seasons.
There are still a number of question marks facing the team, however.
Elvin Hayes wants to be traded to a Texas team, and it is uncertain if Mitch Kupchak and Bob Dandridge will return effectively from the injuries that sidelined them much of this season.
Although no one will admit it, the Bullets apparently decided a while ago that they wanted Shue if Motta decided not to return.
Motta decided to look elsewhere for a job when he learned after the season that the Bullets didn't plan to make any major personnel changes on the club.
The Bullets apparently assumed Motta had the San Antonio job sewn up, so they moved on Shue, whose contract with San Diego was not renewed.
But Motta is still looking and the Bullets and Shue and still waiting.
The dispersal draft to stock the new Dallas franchise is next week and the college draft is June 10, so all teams want their coaching situation resolved soon.
"I've got control of my life for at least one more year," Motta said.
There are currently four coaching vacancies in the NBA -- at Dallas, San Antonio, San Diego and Detroit.
Paul Silas has the inside track on the Clipper job and Jack McKinney's name has been mentioned in all four places, Philadelphia 76er assistant Chuck Daly, Seattle SuperSonic assistant Les Habegger and Motta are the other name mentioned for the vacancies.
A number of Bullet players have criticized Motta's coaching this past season, and most of them believe Motta will not return.
Motta said that despite the criticism he has taken, he feels he could do an effective job coaching the Bullets next season, "if it comes to that.
"I've never done anything that I thought I would fail at before I did it," Motta said.