You ever hate-watch something? If you have, you probably understand why most Bulls fans pour over every word of media day to reaffirm their hate for Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson, General Manager Gar Forman, and Head Coach Fred Hoiberg.
Media day for the Chicago Bulls is usually an anger-filled event laced with feelings of deep despair. This year was no exception.
As Greenberg said in his column at The Athletic: the front office “took the brunt of questions at a media event because no one really knows the players, or frankly, cares about them quite yet.”
You can watch the whole thing here, but below is the most interesting parts from Bulls Media Day.
The Org. doesn’t Care What You Think
Pax on fixing relationship w fans: "uhh..dont know...We have support of ownership, we're looking forward."— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) September 25, 2017
Perhaps most concerning is that last part because it’s another shred of evidence that Gar/Pax are lifers at their current positions unless they choose to step down on their own. Pax also said that “we are all in this together” [meaning him, Gar and Fred] and that “we are fully committed to Fred” meaning those who want Hoiberg gone are probably going to be disappointed as well.
Culture over everything
Pax: "We're not focused on (wins and losses). The most important thing for us is the culture we have in this building."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) September 25, 2017
‘Culture’ was the big word of the day...as it was last season. Everyone at the podium wanted to make it very clear that all the guys on the team worked extremely hard over the offseason.
Gar and Pax were also adamant that ushering in this culture entailed getting the players to embrace the pace-and-space style of offense that Hoiberg wants to implement.
The Bulls Claim they’re Right Where They Want to Be
This was a fun moment, when GarPax’s pre-Butler-trade words of rebuilds taking very long were asked back to them.
Interestingly enough, all that talk about rebuilds taking six or seven years according to the Bulls’ research isn’t that accurate anymore. Funny how that works when you’re trying to sell tickets and keep jobs.
“I think I said it can [take that long],” Forman said. “Historically you look at it and it can. But there are situations where it’s been much quicker. And that goes back to the point we mentioned at the start: In our opinion, I think we have a leg up. We’re not starting at ground zero because of the three young core pieces we got in the trade and some of the young players we have here. We need them to grow and develop. But we have our draft assets as far as first-round picks into the future. And then having (financial) flexibility. So we would never put a timeline on it. But those things have set the course and given us a head start as we head down that road.”
Gar/Pax’s logic, not mine.
Hoiberg and Paxson were also asked a tanking question, and predicatively said that the Bulls wouldn’t deliberately try to lose games this season.
Dwyane Wade Got an Unfairly Bad Rep
At least one young player agreed.
Denzel Valentine said Dwyane Wade texted him a message of support Sunday night. https://t.co/AntanDmZpP— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) September 25, 2017
Finally, the national anthem protests were mentioned by reporters several times yesterday afternoon, Paxson said it was addressed internally but didn’t elaborate much further.
To recap: it was mostly the rehashed rhetoric that Forman and Paxson say every season, but this time tinkered slightly to fit the context of a rebuild. The Bulls executives continue to refuse to take accountability for their mistakes while telling fans how great their current plan is.
It’s going to be a great season!