Prepare to be infuriated.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Bulls will likely keep Jim Boylen as head coach due to financial concerns within the organization (emphasis mine):
But as the Sun-Times learned this week, even if Karnisovas didn’t like what he would have seen from Boylen he would likely be handcuffed from making a change.
According to several sources, there is strong growing momentum that financial concerns the Reinsdorfs have about the 2020-21 NBA season will keep Boylen in his current seat, as well as most of the coaching staff.
There’s mention of the situation remaining “fluid,” but I mean ….
Over the last couple of months, there has been a growing concern that the Chicago Bulls could use the financial impact of the league shutdown as an excuse to halt the front office overhaul that started with the hiring of Arturas Karnisovas back in April. Things reached a boiling point in mid-July when owner Jerry Reinsdorf told USA Today that he was experiencing “nine-figure losses” between the Bulls and White Sox. Even though he freely admitted that most of the impact came on the baseball side of the ledger, it appears there will be a major impact on the Bulls’ end anyway.
If this report is accurate, promises of full autonomy and sweeping change have come at a price, and that price is reportedly under $2 million for a franchise valued at $3.2 billion. The Reinsdorfs allowed for Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to preach a new era – one that seemed to center around accountability and player input. Both ideologies have been thrown out the window only a couple of months after they were presented. Forget about Jim Boylen’s resume. Forget about the player’s disdain. Forget about positive momentum. Forget about change (at least for now).
And forget about this line from Michael Reinsdorf back in April: “We told Arturas we wanted him to build this organization out from a standpoint that he’s comfortable with. We never really talked about monetary restrictions.” I know the economic circumstances around the country changed, even since April, but this is all incredibly disappointing. And for most of us, far too familiar from Reinsdorf.
Indeed, in case there’s any skepticism about whether the new front office would keep Boylen regardless, the Sun-Times reports that Karnisovas and Eversley were trying to reach out to possible head coach candidates Ime Udoka and Adrian Griffin.
“Karnisovas and Eversley were even in the process of using back channels to reach out to Philadelphia assistant coach Ime Udoka and Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin as possible replacements, according to multiple NBA scouts.”
I don’t know about you, but that sure does sound like two guys who want a new head coach.
Arguably the most frustrating part of this, in my opinion, is that the organization will burn down any bridges they just built with players on the roster and around the league. Sure, things could still change, but Karnisovas and Eversley are currently in a position where they must tell their players that even after hearing their input, the coach they don’t vibe with has to stay. Additionally, any players around the league that had a newfound interest in Chicago will probably go back to ignoring the franchise altogether.
As Cowley put it in his article, “So that ‘players first’ motto that Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley were touting several months ago? Well, money just pushed it aside and cut in the front of the line.” Wonderful.
The only glimmer of hope that remains is time. With as many as four months to go before the start of the 2020-21 season, something significant can still happen, but the likelihood that instead nothing does grows every day.