BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics may have trouble getting star center Robert Parish into camp because of a contract dispute, but a published report said forward Larry Bird, is nearing terms on a new pact.
The Boston Globe reported today that Bird is on the verge of signing a new contract that could be the most lucrative in sports history.
Parish, citing forward Kevin McHale's signing for $1 million a year, wants more money as well.
Bird and his agent, Bob Woolf, met Monday with the team's new owners and General Manager Red Auerbach and reportedly have agreed to terms verbally and will sign by the end of the week.
Bird is on the last year of his current contract, while Parish, who makes $650,000 a year, wants to renegotiate. Parish said if the team does not reconsider his salary, he wants to be traded. Training camp starts this week.
Bird's contract may surpass the $13.2 million six-year pact signed by Moses Malone with the Philadelphia 76ers last year.
While Bird seems happy, Parish said he is not.
'They have a choice in this,' he said. 'They can discuss it with me or trade me. If nothing is done, I will stay out of camp. Period.' Parish has three years remaining on his contract.
He said a starter should be paid more than a reserve like McHale. 'How can you pay a nonstarter more than a starter? It's an insult to me,' he said.
Auerbach said of Parish that 'it wasn't an insult when he was making more than Bird. Players always look at the high side.'