The Bulls are continuing their limp into the end of the season. Everybody’s out again. They’re either cravenly lying about these injuries or it’s clear that this whole beloved core is injury-prone as hell. And maybe having a drill sergeant coach combined with a historically incompetent training+medical staff is a bad combination for such a roster.
I doubt that will be considered internally, because it’s unpleasant. And “in our building we’re actually excited.”
But we can look to tonight’s opponent, the Washington Wizards, who just yesterday canned their long-time GM. Ernie Grunfeld was hired 2 months after John Paxson, and had a terrible tenure there.
Ernie Grunfeld took over his role with the #Wizards after the 2002-03 season. During his tenure, the Wizards went 568-724 (.440), the 7th worst W-L record in that span https://t.co/FClZYxVT1Y https://t.co/eUr8bnsQDG— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) April 2, 2019
They also never went farther than the 2nd round of the playoffs.
In comparison, Pax (and GarPax, Gar’s been there even longer) record during that same time was 61-631 (.512). They won a single game in the Eastern Conference Finals one year. Plus they did put one over on Ernie with this Otto Porter trade. So Paxson is...probably...better than the worst exec in the league? With Grunfeld now gone, Paxson stands alone as an obscenely-long-tenured executive without much success. Normally guys don’t get over 15 years to do this unless they win a title, so you see names like Popovich, Riley, Ainge, and then John Paxson’s mean mug is sticking out at you.
It took Washington ownership to wake up and make this change, even if for weird reasons they still were stated goals. The Bulls, meanwhile - though this has changed over time too - brilliantly (for their own job security) went on THE PATH to a rebuild, with no measurable goals that they can possibly fail to achieve. And the Bulls owner is full-on baseball man this time of year, and his thankfully-powerless son just goes along with management telling him they’re doing great and being downright confused at any other assessment.
That goes for the assessment of fans, too. And you can read about happy Wizards fans and think maybe #FireGarPax could eventually cause ownership to crack. Ultimately it’s difficult to see that kind of influence given the relative low amount of people who have season tickets to cancel, but if everyone merely gives best effort in telling them they suck at every possible opportunity, that isn’t for nothing. Plus it feels good.