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The Bulls incumbent one-person player development staff is leaving

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Shawn Respert is...fired by Jim Boylen? Or just moving on?

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers
it’s hard to find recent Shawn Respert photos!
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Momentum has slowed for the Bulls front office changes ( ‘Michael Reinsdorf’s COMPLETE OVERHAUL. Four Stars.’ -@WojESPN) since the hire of new GM Marc Eversley, who’s to be second in command (or 5th if you count all those advisors).

But we saw a bit of minor news today as an incumbent member of the staff reportedly won’t be around.

The seemingly-sole indisputable fact is that it surrounds current Director of Player Development Shawn Respert. Everything else in this report from KC Johnson at NBC Sports Chicago is incredibly confounding, written as if the goal was to make sure everyone involved is praised at the expense of reporting what the hell actually happened.

  • Respert “will not be retained when his contract ends following the 2019-20 season”, yet “Whenever the Bulls reconvene, will be elsewhere”
  • Respert is called “respected” (of course), with a “reputation as a stoic but substantive sounding board for players”, but I guess not worth holding on to?
  • Respert says he “felt he outgrew” the role, yet KC says “this was Boylen’s call”

So that’s all as clear as dogshit.

Speaking of, it is concerning that this is, per KC, “a sign that executive vice president Arturas Karnisovas is leaving coaching staff decisions to Jim Boylen for now”.

So I guess...Respert wanted to move from ‘Player Development’ to the bench, and Boylen said no? Why the hell is Jim Boylen deciding anything? Even if Karnisovas+Eversley were going to make that decision too, why go through the motions of telling KC that it was Boylen. Why is Jim Boylen ever on my screen ever again?

Here was KC with a mailbag answer earlier today on the pointless slowdown of firing a universally-disrespected head coach:

All Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf did was explain the positive attributes he and former executive vice president John Paxson saw when they hired and extended Boylen and asked Karnisovas to get to know him before making a decision on Boylen’s future.

This is truly the worst news of this entire pandemic.

I can understand the point of not firing people while there’s no NBA activity, but not when Boylen himself is making these decisions about people at the same time.

Respert was hired three years ago, and while not an Iowa corn-ection is part of the Michigan State alums that had similarly infiltrated Bullsdom (including Boylen). In his opening remarks, Eversley pointed to that department as an indictment of John Paxson’s small staff:

I was surprised to find that there was one player development coach on the staff. That’s a helluva job for one person to take on. It’s going to be one of my tenets to try and figure out our player development system.

Hilariously-sad, but an indictment on the old regime. Worse if Jim Boylen did the figuring out for the new guys.