The Chicago Bulls hired VP Arturas Karnisovas because they wanted to bring about change. They wanted to enter the 21st century as an organization after so many years of keeping it small and highly exclusive. Karnisovas was their first major foreign VP in history. Then Marc Eversley became their first African-American GM. There was a genuine buzz that the team might finally be headed in the right direction. Even with the Bulls players themselves.
However, there’s something to be said about momentum. Karnisovas certainly started with it. As the days and now weeks have passed though, it appears people have begun to cool on the new leader of basketball operations. Why? Namely, because the players are starting to wonder if he is actually a man of his word. The one he spoke when he took over about making the Bulls a “players-first” organization.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times heard from multiple players on the team that they’re not sure he can be trusted. All of it has to do with the lack of a decision on head coach Jim Boylen.
“As one Bulls player told the Sun-Times on Wednesday, however, the growing concern is no current player is really being listened to. LaVine, several veterans, a seemingly disgruntled rookie, no one…
…Yet, it’s now almost August, Bulls players have been in and out of town for voluntary workouts at the Advocate Center, and the early buzz of all the changes that were being made throughout the organization have suddenly been replaced by crickets.
Not only with the coaching staff, but the rest of the expected build out of the front office.
According to one player, it instead feels like very little has changed.”
Chicago Bulls have put Karnisovas in an awkward spot
It’s easy to understand why the players are frustrated. Thus far nobody has spoken out in any kind of support for Boylen. Quite the opposite. Most who mentioned him in public had something negative to say. It’s safe to say he has few supporters on the actual roster. Most of his backing comes from ownership, John Paxson, and the front office leftovers from the Gar Forman era.
It is easy to blame Karnisovas for his lack of decisiveness on this issue. Then again, it’s not like he’s been handed an easy situation. Removing a coach wouldn’t be a huge hassle if most people bottom to top felt it was for the best. The problem is the guys who hired him have insisted Boylen be given a “fair chance.” Some think this is just fancy speak for they don’t want to pay two coaches at once, which is what they’d have to do if Boylen were fired and another hired in his place.
In other words, the team is considering the idea of forcing the players to play for a coach they don’t like because Jerry Reinsdorf is cheap. So it is no wonder the players have grown skeptical of Karnisovas. He promised change and isn’t giving it to them. Not because he doesn’t want to but because he plays for an ownership that is famous for doing things at bargain prices.