Credit where it’s due: The Tribune’s KC Johnson secured an interview with Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf (a few years ago, chairman Jerry rationalized that this turn-key operation couldn’t be goofed up by nepotism) and asked pressing questions about the operations of the franchise.
He didn’t get great answers, but that’s not entirely unexpected.
The Bulls president’s answers do seem to show a firmer grasp on the current squad than what his basketball hall-of-fame (lol) father has offered recently, and I believe the sentiment that he cares about the results. But there’s the undying love for GarPax, and Hoiberg, and their money-making, that’s tough to break.
You can do a CTRL-F and see no mention of ‘bad’, ‘poor’, ‘terrible’, ‘fired’, ‘sell the team’...and the only ‘mistake’ offered is that ‘every team makes draft mistakes’.
But here’s everything that’s going right for a franchise that’s slid into irrelevance over the past 5 years.
- “I have a lot of confidence in John Paxson and Gar Forman. I think they’ve done a great job.”
- “I also think they’ve done a great job from a financial management perspective. “
- “You have to be foolish if you didn’t look at some of the really good picks that we’ve had. “
- “I think they’ve done a really good job of managing the cap and allowing us to have financial flexibility. “
- “Overall, I think they’ve done a really good job and we have the utmost confidence they’re going to get us back to a championship level.”
- “Fred has developed into a really good coach.”
- “I think now, if you go back and look at that [Butler] trade today, most people would say that was a great trade for the Bulls. Depending on how Zach, Kris and Lauri develop, that could go from being a good trade to being an incredible trade. Time will tell.”
So there is a definite gap in evaluation, here. I’m not sure what can be done about that, he’s not expected to be a basketball guy, and the actual basketball guys will of course tell him all the great stuff they’re doing.
For his part, Johnson tried to pin Michael down a bit. For example, here was the Bulls president on fans: “You have to tune it out“
When discussing money, the discussion fixates on the luxury tax and it being ‘silly’ to be in that strata for a ‘non-championship’ team. That topic is more comprehensive than that single expenditure, of course, but this answer doesn’t help my confidence in understanding that.
Friendly tip to Michael Reinsdorf: Jabari's $20 million contract probably isn't the "perfect example" of the payoff you can get from years of #financialflexibility https://t.co/BYNLFSiHa5 pic.twitter.com/3ysVOhybrG— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) October 16, 2018