On ESPN 1000’s Kap and Company Show, @ramonashelburne said that she interviewed Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf towards the end of the Last Dance documentary and said he "was pretty adamant that he wants them (front office) to give Jim Boylen a chance. To take him seriously."
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) May 28, 2020
Remind me again, why did the Bulls reassign John Paxson, fire Gar Forman and bring in Arturas Karnisovas & Marc Eversley to lead the front office? We could see this conflict coming a mile away when it was reported that Paxson would still remain in an advisory role. It is blatantly obvious that the Jim Boylen experiment has not worked; he has managed to marginalize the Bulls talented frontcourt in Markkanen & Carter, so much so that the normally quiet Lauri vented his frustrations with his offensive role:
“I had 80 touches per game the past two seasons, this season the touches dropped to 40. Don’t get me wrong, I had some plays drawn with me in mind, but it’s just different. When I spoke with Jim [Boylen], we talked about how I should concentrate on getting rebounds and then leading the fast break. But it’s just really hard getting 40 defensive rebounds.”
On top of Lauri and Wendell, Boylen has also consistently butted heads with Lavine, and no player on the roster has come to Boylen’s defense when Karnisovas & Eversley spoke with the team.
So, why the affinity for Coach Boylen? To me, it boils down to 2 main reasons:
- Cost. Boylen’s salary is a meager $1.6M, compared to the league average of ~$3.5M. The Bulls already ate a good portion of Fred Hoiberg’s salary when they cut him loose a few years early, and I highly doubt Jerry Reinsdorf wants to continue to have 2 head coach salaries on the books come next year while the uncertainty of ticket sales looms over their heads.
- Loyalty. This comes back to what Jack M Silverstein, Brian and I spoke about on the Let Me B-Frank podcast a few weeks back, Jerry Reinsdorf is loyal, to a fault, at times. He loves to stick with his guys, and that tendency has continued, even after he acquiesced to cleaning house. They let Gar Forman be the scapegoat for their failures, but Reinsdorf & Paxson were complicit in the decisions made as well, and should not be let off the hook.
No matter what the cost, Karnisovas & Eversley need to make their own decision, free of influence from Paxson & Reinsdorf. They were brought in to fix a front office that was neglecting its obligations to the franchise, and to give the ghost of Garpax a say in these decisions would be a disservice to the growth of the Bulls players and their fans.