Gar Forman is in trouble. Yes, this is real. The GM who has seemed so bulletproof for years despite so many questionable decisions is finally feeling the heat for the first time. Jerry Reinsdorf is reportedly livid with the Chicago Bulls’ 6-12 start to the season. This despite loads of talent on the roster. The arrival of Doug Collins to the mix back in 2017 was reportedly one of the things that really started the ball rolling against Forman
So where exactly did everything start? According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, it began all the way back in 2015. For those who can’t do the math, this was the year that Fred Hoiberg replaced Tom Thibodeau as head coach of the team. It seems Collins was never impressed with the move and series of incidents only reinforced that belief. Considering that Hoiberg was Forman’s guy, it didn’t reflect well.
“The genesis of that relationship going south stemmed from former coach Fred Hoiberg, who Collins immediately had questions about when vice president of basketball operations John Paxson named Collins to the brain trust back in 2017.
Collins was underwhelmed by Hoiberg’s leadership skills, and was openly critical of Hoiberg throughout the Advocate Center in the wake of the Nikola Mirotic-Bobby Portis practice altercation.
While Paxson and the Bulls have all publicly insisted that Hoiberg’s hiring was a group decision, it was no secret that Forman was pushing for Hoiberg almost a year before Tom Thibodeau was fired. In Collins’ mind, the Hoiberg hiring was strike one.”
Gar Forman couldn’t run from reality forever
The reality is Forman has survived thanks to his strong eye for talent over the past several years. He acquired the likes of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Zach Lavine. The problem is he hasn’t been able to maximize any of those guys. Why? His ability to handle the coaching position. He had a good one in Tom Thibodeau but things grew more and more heated between the two in regards to the roster and how the players were being managed. So Forman decided to go after somebody who would be less disagreeable.
Hoiberg was a former Bulls player during the 2000s. He had connections to Forman and had enjoyed some success at Iowa State. The experience was a problem though. The GM didn’t care. He made the hire. It didn’t take long for things to deteriorate. The team started playing with less discipline. The defense fell apart and soon confrontations began in practice. This led to Hoiberg getting fired last season and replaced by Jim Boylen who has somehow become even more unpopular with the players.
Those decisions are squarely on Forman and he can’t escape them.