John Paxson is Remaining With the Bulls Organization and Here is Why That Shouldn’t Scare You
Arturas Karnisovas would not have taken this job if he knew Paxson would still be the decision-maker. Hell, he probably just would have fired him with Forman had he believed this.
The Chicago Bulls made two major announcements about the future of their basketball team today. The first came with the firing of General Manager Gar Forman. The second was that former Vice President of Basketball Operations, John Paxson, would be moving into a Senior Advisory role within the organization.
Fans have been asking for a front-office shakeup for the last several years. There were “Fire GarPax” billboards around Chicago. Frustrated with the team’s direction, fans also stopped showing up to the United Center this season. The team ranked 11th in attendance this season after regularly being in the top five.
It was past due time for a change, and that change finally came to fruition as the team hired Arturas Karnisovas as the replacement for John Paxson. However, with all this change, many fans are unhappy and apprehensive that Paxson is remaining with the team in an advisory role. That concern doesn’t need to exist.
First and foremost, John Paxson is not a dumb man. You simply do not last this long in the NBA without a certain level of awareness. Paxson’s demeanor began changing recently. He seemed frustrated. He didn’t like being lumped into the same name as Gar Forman. He even reportedly went to Jerry Reinsdorf with the notion that change was necessary.
Paxson knew his time was up. He had a long run at bringing the Bulls back to the top and it simply didn’t work out. He had some success in his early years but lately had far too many misses. However, Paxson loves the Bulls and had the tough self-realization that it was time for a new direction, even if it was without him.
You don’t essentially fire yourself or put yourself through even more media and fan scrutiny just to ultimately stay in charge. Karnisovas will be in charge. Paxson might drop an opinion down the chain every now and again, but he won’t be able to make decisions.
John Paxson also has to have a certain level of pride and had to be tired of constantly being criticized for his work over the years. This had been going on for several years and that has to weigh on a person. Paxson likely hit his breaking point and decided it would be best to move on with his career and life.
Here’s another reason why you shouldn’t be concerned. Jerry Reinsdorf may be the most loyal man in sports, but even he knew it was time for change. The Bulls were beginning to lose money. Attendance and TV ratings were down big time. An owner like Reinsdorf can’t and won’t tolerate that. Change was needed to bring the Bulls back to relevance.
Letting Paxson still run things would be a slap in the face to Bulls fans, and the organization simply isn’t dumb enough to do that. Arturas Karnisovas would not have taken this job if he knew Paxson would still be the decision-maker. Hell, he probably just would have fired him with Forman had he believed this. He did, after all, have the easy opportunity, as Paxson said he would entirely walk away if that is what was wanted of him.
It is easy to not fully trust the Bulls. They have done questionable things over these last few seasons. However, this feels different. Gar Forman was a 22-year employee of the organization and was shown the door. Jerry Reinsdorf doesn’t take those decisions lightly. This is immediate, full, and real change on West Madison street.
Even if you still don’t trust Reinsdorf and company, just stay patient. The decision on head coach Jim Boylen should be telling. If he is fired, then Karnisovas certainly has full control. However, if Boylen stays, then perhaps throw this article in the trash. However, Karnisovas should likely bring his own coach in here and the Bulls will then have full change.
Give Jerry Reinsdorf a little credit. He finally did what everyone said he would never do. People in the baseball world always said Reinsdorf would never allow a full rebuild for the White Sox. He did that after the 2016 season. Change occurred for the White Sox and it is coming for the Bulls as well. Fear, not Bulls fans, this time is different.