Veteran says phone messages left for Allen get directed to Whitsitt

Scottie Pippen says if he had but one wish in the world, it would be an audience with Paul Allen.

'But I can't even get to Paul,' the Trail Blazer veteran tells the Tribune from his vacation home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 'Four years with the franchise, and I can't get to him. Every time I call his office to leave a message, the message goes to Bob Whitsitt, and I never hear from Paul.'

Pippen, who will be a free agent on July 1, says he has been thinking about his future. He would like it to be with the Blazer organization.

'To tell you the truth, I want to talk to Paul about (minority) ownership in the team,' Pippen says. 'When we talk, it will be about playing a couple of years, then sticking around and becoming a part of the organization.

'I enjoy the business. Being an owner would give me an opportunity to stay involved and make a positive impact on the franchise. I look at Paul as an absentee owner who doesn't really put his nose into it too much. I would like to be that little dirty guy for him.'

Pippen, who turns 38 in September, also says he had mixed emotions when he learned that the Philadelphia 76ers had been denied permission to discuss their vacant coaching position with the Blazers' Maurice Cheeks.

'In one way, I am happy,' says Pippen, a staunch Cheeks supporter. 'I am not exactly happy they are not allowing him the opportunity to coach where he played most of his career. On the other hand, I would hate to see him leave Portland.

'I guess the Blazers are doing what they have to do. They want to keep him there as coach.'

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