A billboard to show Bulls fans’ displeasure with the team’s front office debuted Wednesday afternoon in the West Loop.
A “Fire GarPax” billboard, which was paid for by a GoFundMe campaign, is on the corner of Lake Street and North Racine Avenue, one mile northeast of the United Center. It’s expected to be up for a month.
The idea of the billboard stems from a Reddit thread of disgruntled Bulls fans. Brendon Henderson, who organized the fundraising campaign for the billboard, said fans disapproved of general manager Gar Forman’s and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson’s decisions to trade star guard Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves and second-round pick Jordan Bell to the Warriors.
The GoFundMe campaign surpassed its original goal of $2,000 within a day and raised nearly $7,000 in three days.
Fans from all over the world, including Australia and Sweden, contributed.
Henderson, a 22-year-old Indiana resident, said he didn’t expect the campaign to gain so much traction.
More than $8,300 was raised for the billboard, which cost roughly $7,000.
Henderson said he’s plans to use some of the excess money for a digital billboard. He said it’ll be near the United Center for the Bulls’ home opener, although he didn’t have details because he’s waiting for the Bulls to release their schedule.
After that purchase, Henderson plans to donate any leftover money to the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago.
“The billboard is for the community,” Henderson said. “So for excess money, I wanted to give back to the community as well.”
Henderson said View Outdoor Advertising also pledged a $500 donation to the Boys and Girls Club.
The billboard’s main message is that something has to change in the front office, he said.
“If I had something to say to the Bulls’ front office, I’d say it’s an absolute ignominy for front office to have little to no progress,” Henderson said. “Whether they have a change within themselves or there’s a personnel change within the front office, something has to be done.”
The Bulls finished last season with a 41-41 record, good for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, before losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Celtics.
Follow me on Twitter@madkenney.