I’ll admit it, I need something to gnaw on. Not like a piece of extra tough beef jerky, but rather some fresh front office updates or rumors.
When the sports world came to a sudden halt in March, the Chicago Bulls kept us busy. Ownership finally decided to overhaul the front office, and the next couple of months were filled with some much-needed excitement. Arturas Karnisovas was hired, Gar Forman was fired, Marc Eversley took his place, and a couple more new faces joined the party (J.J. Polk and Pat Connelly). Not to mention, in the midst of all that madness, we had The Last Dance – an endlessly fun and awesome docuseries to help us relive the glory days.
Now, on June 25th, we sit in a waiting room. It’s hot, quiet, and we’re stuck reading the same magazines over and over again. EXCLUSIVE: New Bulls VP Talks Patient Approach … Whoa: Is Jim Boylen About to Punch-Out? … Here Are The Top 10 Ways to Spice Things Up on Date Night (oops, I don’t know how that got in there).
Point being: We’re not getting much on the Bulls front, but according to Sirius XM’s Brian Geltzeiler, that might be by design (via 670 The Score’s Bernstein Show):
I do know the players certainly – and when I say the players I’m not talking about the entire roster – but I do know there is some player involvement in what’s happening here. That Zach LaVine is continuing to be kind of consulted in the process in terms of what occurs, so that’s something to keep an eye on in terms of what happens.
But, listen, this is how Arturas Karnisovas operates. He is not going to be someone that allows this to be out there in public for everyone to see. He wants it to be very quiet. They may have their sights set on somebody right now, we really don’t know because he’s keeping it close to the vest.
In other words, don’t mistake a righteous devotion to extensive evaluation, relationship building, and reputation repair as inaction. Karnisovas is relying on player input and simply operating on his own terms. Those are all good things.
Karnisovas is also a creature of habit, and taking on a bad head coach from a past regime isn’t going to change that. He’ll work at his own pace and make his own decision. And while that remains frustrating, it’s also perfectly admirable – perhaps even desirable. I mean, after all, isn’t that what made him so successful in the first place?
But let’s not lose sight of the bigger story, here: Zach LaVine’s involvement.
Clearly, if Karnisovas and Eversley are asking for his input, they continue to view him as the team’s current No. 1. The plan probably isn’t for him to play this role for too long, but it does at least illustrate their perception of him as a legitimate building block. Additionally, we know if LaVine is involved, Boylen will not be let off the hook.
Perhaps more importantly, Marc Eversley said he wanted the Bulls to be a player-first organization, and this news certainly makes it feel as though they’re working toward that. I also have to imagine LaVine isn’t the only player who’s having his voice heard. While Geltzeiler said the entire roster wasn’t necessarily involved, I wouldn’t be surprised if the other “top” players on this roster like Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. were periodically included in the conversation. Or rather, I hope so.
To that end, a bit of separate news appears, as Geltzeiler went on to say he wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulls next head coach had some sort of tie to a current Bull.
We may see a name get this job that’s attached to one of the Bulls better players, and that’s something else to certainly keep an eye on moving forward.
To be honest, I’m not sure what exactly that means. He did talk about former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson as someone who might be good for the job and worth a watchful eye, but Atkinson doesn’t have a history (to my knowledge) with any of the current members of the Bulls core. I suppose a statement like that could open the door to a collegiate-level head coaching candidate, but there doesn’t seem to be any current college coaches truly in the running for any of the vacant head coaching jobs in the NBA. Moreover, none of the Bulls core played for any obvious NBA head coaching candidates. So we’ll just have to set that aside for the time being.
Ultimately, the takeaway of this story is simply that Karnisovas will probably keep his mouth shut to us, but not to the players. And that’s something we are thankful for.