Right about now would be a good time for one of those infamous Jerry Reinsdorf statements.
After all, it’s been months since the Chairman’s last poetic masterpiece of daggers was thrown into the back of Tom Thibodeau as the former coach and his cardboard boxes were being escorted from the Advocate Center.
This time, however, how about a much simpler approach. One with some honesty. Just two words: “I’m sorry.’’
That would just about cover it all.
Sorry for not understanding that elite NBA coaches are like elite NFL quarterbacks, in that the only way you let one go is if it’s pried from the clutches of dead hands.
Sorry for still vehemently believing two years ago that Derrick Rose would put team in front of his brand.
Sorry for giving Bulls fans a product that has become completely unlikable.
But most of all, sorry for again believing that loyalty to a front office carries more weight than loyalty to a coach, a manager or to players.
If Thibodeau would have been empowered like he should have been over the Gar/Pax regime, Ron Adams would still be an elite assistant coach on the staff, All-Star Draymond Green would have been selected over Marquis Teague, and Gorgui Dieng would have been selected over Tony Snell. That just scratches the surface.
The misstep that cannot be forgiven in all of this, however, is what was allowed to happen in training camp prior to Thibodeau’s last season in charge. As the Sun-Times reported several times throughout the 2014-15 campaign, that’s when general manager Gar Forman and VP of basketball operations John Paxson started letting players know that it was OK to ignore Thibodeau’s all-in style because his chair was about to expire.
They empowered the inmates in the asylum.
And now everyone is wondering what could possibly be wrong with the roster this year?
Fred Hoiberg never had a chance with this group. Heck, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich or Adolph Rupp wouldn’t have a chance with this group.
The front office spoiled the water, and now expects the players to drink it all in?
No wonder they look like a YMCA pick-up team on most nights, as ego and agendas have engulfed concepts like team and a blue-collar mentality.
There will, however, be a narrative they will try and spin. There always is.
“Injuries and the growing pains of a new system were too much to overcome, so we’re going to go ahead and use the expanded payroll this offseason to make changes and ensure that this won’t happen again. Now please go ahead and buy the Jimmy Butler Ticket Package, which allows you 21 home games for most of your disposable income, as well as our always fun-loving Benny the Bull Night.’’
When the curtain is pulled back, this is what Bulls basketball has become since the Jordan years: Great at marketing, average at basketball, dreadful in honesty.
So as the All-Star Break begins, the Bulls crawl into it 27-25, and with one homework assignment from their first-year head coach.
“We got to find ourselves,’’ Hoiberg said. “I challenged them, whatever they got to do over the break, look themselves in the mirror, find a way to get committed to this team where we can come out and go on a run.’’
It shouldn’t just be the players, however. There should be a long line waiting to look into that mirror, and Reinsdorf should be standing right in front.