The Chicago Bulls have completed their first step in a major overhaul of the franchise infrastructure. VP Arturas Karnisovas revamped the front office, adding multiple new faces including GM Marc Eversley. The next piece on the agenda? Figure out what to do about head coach Jim Boylen. The lack of progress on this front has a lot of fans irritated. To them, this shouldn’t be taking so long. Boylen has done nothing to warrant special treatment.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, for his part, continues to make it clear that Boylen is all but gone. The Bulls have potential replacements already in mind and it’s only a matter of time. So that brings up the obvious question. Why the delay? There are a couple of reasons. One is that the season isn’t over yet. Both coaches the Bulls are eyeing will be involved in the expanded NBA playoffs down in Orlando. So they are focused on that.
However, there is one other problem. The team is also fighting against a narrative that has embedded in the NBA for a long time. One that has apparently been pushed by Dallas Mavericks head coach and president of the NBA Coaches Association Rick Carlisle.
One that the Bulls might be the worst team in basketball in treating their coaches.
“There is a perception problem and when you come from the outside like Arturas did and Marc Eversley have? You know what that perception problem is. Carlisle, the Dallas coach, has made it very clear the disdain the coaches association and a lot of coaches have for the Bulls and the practice they have towards coaches. The way they’ve treated them for commodities for three or four decades. The way they fire guys on Christmas Eve.
So there’s a perception problem that I think these guys want to change coming in now to this. That the old regime didn’t care about nor did they maybe even see fully.”
Chicago Bulls dug this pit themselves and must climb out
It’s easy to get angry at Carlisle for actively working against the Bulls like that. Yet his responsibility is clear. That is to look out for the best interests of NBA coaches. Too often the Bulls have shown they don’t care much about those interests. Bill Cartwright was dismissed right after Thanksgiving in 2003. Scott Skiles, who delivered their first playoff appearance since the Jordan era got canned on Christmas Eve in 2007. They fired Tom Thibodeau after he won 50 games in 2014-2015 and had never had a losing season.
John Paxson once even got into a fight with Vinny Del Negro where he choked and punched the guy.
Not exactly the operation of what one would call a professional organization. The good news is the guys primarily responsible for such treatment, Paxson and Gar Forman, are now out of the picture. The Reinsdorfs no doubt hope the arrival of the highly respected Karnisovas and Eversley will sway coaches into giving the franchise another chance.