Most Chicago Bulls fans have had enough of John Paxson, and now, John Paxson may have had enough of them.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the long-time executive is willing to remove himself entirely from the organization if the Reinsdorfs or the new executive vice president of basketball operations sees fit.
Here’s what the report had to say:
The Sun-Times was told by a source on Tuesday that not only is Paxson all for stepping aside from his position and acting more as an adviser to the Reinsdorfs when the front-office restructure is finalized, but would even completely step down from the organization if the Reinsdorfs and the new-look executive group deemed it better for the rebuild to continue.
The source insisted that Paxson was ready for either scenario, wanting what was best for the franchise. And not in a martyr way, just saying what he feels everyone wants to hear.
Up until this point, all we’ve heard is that Paxson will almost surely be moved into an advisory role once the Bulls officially hire a new leader. And while that remains plausible, this does open the door for a more complete Paxson departure. Previously, GM Gar Forman was thought to be the only top-executive to have his future entirely determined by the new hire, but it now appears the same can be said for Paxson. Both jobs are on the line.
And indeed, for a while, things just weren’t adding up. If the Bulls new hire was going to have full authority, wouldn’t that mean he could determine Paxson’s fate, as well? Well, with various reports about him merely taking a backseat, it didn’t feel like that was entirely the case. However, this report puts everything in place. Paxson may well step aside, depending on if he’s asked. So for anyone who’s been worrying about a possible ultimatum in the interview room, I guess we can stop?
To be clear, this does not (yet) mean Paxson is officially gone or is officially going. In fact, my gut still tells me he’ll be somewhere in this organization once the dust settles. But knowing he’s willing to leave entirely, and the decision is apparently up to the new hire puts some of our concerns to bed. (Indeed, that may even help attract or actually obtain the type of talent that might otherwise be weary of a too many chefs in the kitchen type situation).
I’m assuming his relationship with the Reinsdorf family is still incredibly close, so I’m not ready to believe he’s on the outs until I see it happen. But the fact that he’s willing to walk away speaks volumes to the perception of the team and the pressure fans have put on him for years.