The Chicago Bulls have had a particular way they run things since Jerry Reinsdorf bought the team back in 1985. Especially when it came to the front office. The basketball operations was small. It was the GM and his scouts. That was pretty much it. The GM ran everything. Jerry Krause found terrific success with that formula. So naturally Reinsdorf would see no need to change it.

John Paxson was promoted from within. So was Gar Forma. The Bulls never reached outside their own confines for guys to run the team. However, after a dismal stretch the past five years it seems ownership decided it was time to break tradition. The team hasn’t reached a Finals since 1998. They’ve been to just one conference finals in that span. The old methods aren’t working anymore. So Michael Reinsdorf decided to modernize the front office.

He did so by hiring the most qualified executive he could find. That ended up being Denver Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas who has since overhauled the organization at the top. According to insider Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports, the rest of the league wasn’t thrilled when the hire was made.

“I think it’s a brighter future. I don’t think any team in the NBA is happy about what they did. It means their lives are going to be a lot harder to win a championship. The Bulls have been in a rough spot over the last several years. Just trying to rebuild after the Tom Thibodeau era. Never really quite having an identity.

I think the identity change with Arturas Karnisovas shows that he’s a people person, he’s a gym rat, he hired Marc Eversley who has a really strong reputation around the league, and I think the big question around the league is what is going to happen with Jim Boylen? I think the head coaching position is going to be a canary in a coal mine for how this is going to be run going forward.”

Will Chicago Bulls ownership smother Karnisovas?

That is the big question going forward. It’s obvious to anybody that Jim Boylen is inadequate as a head coach. The team did not get better under his watch. It arguably got worse. Yet for some reason, the Reinsdorfs and Paxson remain firmly in favor of keeping him. Is this because they truly believe he’s a good coach or because they don’t wish to keep paying him while bringing in a replacement?

The league loves Karnisovas and Eversley. What they aren’t sure about is whether the two have enough autonomy to run the team their way. This is why Bulls fans grow nervous the longer Boylen stays employed. Karnisovas has insisted he won’t make a decision until he’s able to see the team operate under Boylen in person. He wants to see it with his own eyes.

There’s also a theory that he is taking his time because the Bulls have a reputation for mistreating coaches in the past. Either way, the team remains balanced on a knife edge until an official decision is made. It is nice to hear they have the attention of the rest of the NBA for the first time in years.