The Chicago Bulls have a problem.
They’ve actually had the same problem for quite a while. We’re talking decades. They’ve tried to cover for it many times. Michael Jordan couldn’t hide it, neither could Scottie Pippen, Phil Jackson, or even Derrick Rose.
No, it wasn’t solved when they replaced GarPax. It didn’t get fixed when they traded Jimmy Butler, Rose, or let Tom Thibodeau go.
It’s not even Jim Boylen completely, though he really shouldn’t be around anymore. The biggest issue with the Chicago Bulls predates the golden age of Bulls basketball. Yes, the problem has been around for a long time – since 1985 in fact.
Yep, the problem is Jerry Reinsdorf. The man who loves to blame everyone else. The man who hired a baseball scout with no basketball experience to be his general manager. Simply because the scout said he wanted the job. The man who said he told Scottie Pippen not to sign that infamous contract while giving him the pen to sign it. The man who picked Jerry Krause over the dynasty – over Jordan, Pippen and Jackson. The man who owns a team worth $3.2 billion yet doesn’t want to replace his terrible coach because of $1 million. Yes, that guy.
Now, with the lingering thoughts (or fears and concerns) of Boylen sticking around at least one more season – despite the objections of more than a few Chicago Bulls players – we are left with serious questions about the future of the franchise.
Yes, the Reinsdorfs, let’s give more credit to Michael Reinsdorf than his father, made a move to remove John Paxson and Gar Forman at the head of the basketball department. That move, though necessary, was long overdue if you ask any reasonable Bulls fan. Why did it take so long? Perhaps it was mostly due to the ownership group being asleep at the wheel for far too long.
Yes, the Reinsdorfs, Michael not Jerry, hired Arturas Karnisovas to revamp basketball operations. But apparently still haven’t given the new front office full autonomy to make the moves (replacing Boylen) they want to make. Why is this?
Why is it that when Karnisovas and new general manager Marc Eversley arrived on the scene, they found the Bulls had one of the thinnest front offices in the NBA? Chicago only had 1 (one!) player-development on staff. For a team that had pledged to develop their young roster, that seems fairly ridiculous, no?
The new "teflon don?'' Bulls coach Jim Boylen might be just that, as sources have told the Sun-Times that the financial concerns the Reinsdorfs have about next season will handcuff the new front office from moving on from the coach.
— Joe Cowley (@JCowleyHoops) August 6, 2020
Why is it that when Eversley promises a new “player-first” approach, Boylen remains despite numerous players speaking privately and publicly about their objections to his coaching tenure?
We could go on and on, couldn’t we?
Of course, Boylen is a problem. So is the lack of a superstar on the roster. But those don’t tell the whole story of what’s happening with this organization. Sure, the Bulls dynasty happened under Reinsdorf’s watch – we can give him that. They also had some dude named Michael Jordan. They also had Scottie Pippen. Oh! They had Dennis Rodman too. Maybe Jerry Krause had more to do with the team winning six championships than we want to admit. Maybe he wasn’t the bad guy (even as I type that, it doesn’t seem right to say) that we all have believed he was. After all, he was the architect of those championship teams.
The potential retention of Boylen is just another example of who the Chicago Bulls are now, a major-market franchise operating like a mom-and-pop organization.
Until the duo of Karnisovas and Eversley are allowed to do what they were hired to do, not much will change in the Windy City with the new brain trust’s hands tied behind their backs.