Bulls sign Brian Williams


Bulls beat Celtics


Michael Jordan knows the Bulls can't force too much on Williams too soon.
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Bulls vice president Jerry Krause knows those Wildcats pick up the Bulls system quickly.
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Phil Jackson was impressed with Williams at the morning practice.
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls, needing some front-line help with injuries to Dennis Rodman and Bill Wennington, once again managed to do something no other NBA team could do: sign free agent center/forward Brian Williams.

Brian Williams
The enigmatic Williams has been unable to sign anywhere since he underwent knee surgery in the offseason following a successful stint with the Los Angeles Clippers in 1995-96.

"The addition of Brian Williams gives us a proven NBA rebounder, scorer and defender to help us on our quest for another championship," said Bulls vice president of basketball operations Jerry Krause.

But the Bulls, who have a league-best 63-9 record, have been hampered recently by injuries to Rodman and Wennington. Wennington is suffering from a ruptured plantar fascia in his left foot and Rodman is out for the regular season with a sprained knee.

Williams and Rodman have the same agent, Dwight Manley.

The 6-11 Williams averaged career highs in points (15.8) and rebounds (7.6) last year in 65 games for the Clippers. He became a free agent after the season when he opted out of his contract and then underwent knee surgery.

"I'm very happy to be joining the Chicago Bulls organization," Williams said. "I'll do all I can to help the team win another World Championship. I haven't played competitively since last season, but the urge to compete and win is stronger than ever."

Williams will make $27,000, the league minimum prorated for the remaining 10 games of the regular season.

Williams will need some time to fit into the mix, according to Bulls coach Phil Jackson.

"It'll certainly take him a couple of weeks to get into basketball shape," Jackson said after Tuesday night's 111-106 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Williams, who turns 28 on Sunday, was the 10th overall selection in the 1991 draft by Orlando. He appeared in 69 games over two seasons with the Magic before being traded to Denver in August 1993.

He played two seasons with the Nuggets until he was dealt to the Clippers prior to the 1995-96 campaign. He owns career averages of 9.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in 277 contests.

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