CHICAGO, July 12 -- Just one day after becoming a free agent, Michael Jordan, one of the most gifted players in the history of the NBA, Friday agreed to a new one-year contract with the Chicago Bulls, team officials said. Terms of the agreement were not released, but the deal was reportedly worth close to $25 million. Jordan, last year's most valuable player, has been considered among the most underpaid players in professional sports. He just completed an eight-year contract worth $24 million. Telephone discussions among Jordan, his representatives David Falk and Curtis Polk, and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf lasted about an hour before the landmark deal, the largest in team sports history, was consummated. Jordan spent the rest of the afternoon at a golf tournament. 'For the most part, every time I've had conversations with Jerry, we were very positive about it,' Jordan said. 'So it didn't leave me any thought to think elsewhere or think differently. I think my agent may have considered other things because that's his job. He has to research and see what the options may be. But me, I always thought I would be in Chicago.' When Jordan was asked how much he would receive under the new deal, he replied, 'It's none of your business.' Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement that the deal was completed swiftly and both sides were not far apart. 'We are delighted that the discussions with Michael and his representatives, David Falk and Curtis Polk, were able to be concluded rapidly,' Reinsdorf said.
'Once we were able to speak, the total elapsed time of our phone calls was less than one hour. 'Michael asked for a one-year contract because he never wants to play if he is unable to meet his own high standards. This way Michael and the Bulls will be able to discuss what is appropriate after each season.' Reinsdorf called Jordan's approach to the negotiations 'refreshing.' Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause said he and Reinsdorf want to do 'whatever it takes' to bring another championship to Chicago. 'Without a doubt, today we took a giant step toward accomplishing that goal.' Falk described the contract as 'testimony to Michael's unique contribution' to the team. 'The time frame in which it was finalized reflects the special relationship Michael has developed with Jerry Reinsdorf over the past 11 years,' Falk said. Jordan, 33, and fellow superstar Shaquille O'Neal and All-Stars Reggie Miller, Gary Payton, John Stockton, Juwan Howard, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo went on the free-agent auction block Thursday. Players actually were eligible for free agency on July 1, but problems with final ratification of the collective bargaining agreement caused a moratorium on all contract negotiations until Thursday. The negotiations ended speculation that Jordan would head elsewhere after leading the Bulls to their fourth NBA championship. The first stumbling block to the contract was overcome last month with the signing to a one-year pact of coach Phil Jackson. Jordan became an unrestricted free agent Thursday when the NBA announced a new collective bargaining agreement extending through the 2000-2001 with the Players Association. A moratorium on player transactions had been in effect since July 1. Jordan, playing in his first full season in three years, averaged 30. 4 points in 82 games to win his record eighth scoring title and led the Bulls to an NBA record 72 wins.