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The Bulls need to fire Gar Forman

This Week in the Bulls is calling for accountability.

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Philadelphia 76ers v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

As an organization, the Chicago Bulls have never operated with enough self-awareness to actually feel shame. It’s a franchise that prides itself on loyalty as much as revenue, one that would rather lose with its own people than rattle relationships in the name of winning. When you care this little, nothing really hurts and everything is .... fine.

This is how you get the same mistakes repeated decade after decade by the same people. It’s how you can justify the status quo with meaningless accomplishments and mistake inactivity for prudence. When there’s no accountability, there’s no pressure, and when there’s no pressure, there’s no real incentive for anything to ever change.

That’s the most amazing thing about the fallout from Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade’s coordinated attack on their own teammates and the late-night subtweet war that followed: for once, the Bulls finally found something that could embarrass them. It had nothing to do with winning or losing. This was all about insubordination.

Imagine the look on John Paxson’s face when he heard about Rajon Rondo’s Instagram post. Picture Gar Forman’s reaction, Fred Hoiberg’s inbox and the poor person who had to explain all of this to Jerry Reinsdorf. This Bulls team was always set up to be the laughingstock of the NBA, and now it’s happened. The people in charge might be the only ones who don’t realize that this was all entirely predictable.

The Bulls were never supposed to be good this year. Vegas set the preseason over/under at 38.5 wins. Some analytic models had them even worse. The complete disregard for shooting was comical, the stated emphasis on getting younger and more athletic never really existed and the defense wasn’t going to be good enough to cover it all up. When you combine such obvious oversights with strong personalities like Butler, Wade and Rondo and a coach who can’t control them in Fred Hoiberg, you get what happened this week. It’s a disaster and it deserves to cost some people their jobs.

This starts with Gar Forman. He was the one whose “voice and vision” prevailed in recent moves, according to the Tribune’s KC Johnson. He was the one who reportedly had Randy Brown spying on the team last year. He was the one who hand-picked Hoiberg after Tom Thibodeau was driven away. He was also the one who refused to take questions from the media on Friday as the roster he built was tearing itself apart.

It’s hard to tell who’s responsible for what in the Bulls’ front office, and that’s by design. Was it Paxson or Forman who made the trade up for Doug McDermott? Which one was foolish enough to believe Rondo was what this team needed at point guard? Who decided to let E’Twaun Moore’s steady three-and-D skill set walk to New Orleans?

In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Forman doesn’t deserve to keep his keep his job just because he’s close with Michael Reinsdorf (“Their wives run the Bulls' charity arm,” according to the Tribune). He doesn’t deserve to keep his job just because he fell backwards into Jimmy Butler. This front office lacks the foresight and the measured approach that it takes to build a winner. Someone has to be held accountable, and that person might as well be Gar.

Of course, accountability has never been a word in the Reinsdorf’s vocabulary. These are the people that essentially made Robin Ventura fire himself. They are the ones that elevated Paxson and Kenny Williams to mysterious front office positions instead of just letting them go. If ownership won’t hold the front office accountable, it’s on the media and the fans to let them know why they’re wrong.

Fire Gar Forman. Almost 20 years after he arrived at this organization alongside Tim Floyd, it’s finally time to let him go. The Bulls will be better for it.


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The Booz News

This has been the Booz News.