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Bulls have not made a decision about coach Jim Boylen’s future

Executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has been on the job for four days and already has moved on from general manager Forman, approved John Paxson’s new role as an adviser and started weighing the future of Boylen and the coaching staff.

Coach Jim Boylen is still waiting to find out if he has a future with the Bulls.
Coach Jim Boylen is still waiting to find out if he has a future with the Bulls.
Mark Lennihan/AP

It didn’t take long for new Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas to make a decision about whether general manager Gar Forman would see a 23rd season with the organization.

Karnisovas said Monday that he weighed keeping Forman with the team in some capacity, but it became quite clear ‘‘different philosophies’’ made that untenable. So, just like that, Forman was fired with two years left on his contract.

‘‘Regarding Gar, I think after some consideration and conversation, it was apparent we had different philosophies,’’ Karnisovas said. ‘‘That would prevent us from moving forward. I was hired to effect change in the current situation, so that was the decision behind that.’’

Bulls fans and former players long had grown distrustful of Forman, and they weren’t alone. Even members of the organization had to deal with Forman’s paranoia through the years.

The Chicago Sun-Times was the first to report Forman employed ‘‘spies’’ in key positions in the organization to keep an eye on behaviors he deemed negative toward him. He also had a history of confiscating the phones and computers of Bulls employees.

In November, the Sun-Times reported that Forman even had worn out his welcome with board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf after his aloof behavior on a night in which the organization was honoring former player Luol Deng. That all but signified the end was near for Forman.

Karnisovas, who agreed in principle to his new job Thursday, had the option of keeping Forman around as a scout, but he opted to move on.

Karnisovas, who formerly was the GM of the Nuggets, also said he was all for keeping former vice president of basketball operations John Paxson around in an advisory role but still was still weighing the future of coach Jim Boylen.

‘‘John has a great reputation around the league and has been with the organization for a number of years and can be an asset of information,’’ Karnisovas said of Paxson.

The decision on Boylen, however, is a bit trickier. Boylen and Karnisovas have had conversations already, but Karnisovas still is in the process of contacting players on the roster, as well as gathering feedback from other departments. The leaguewide shut down in the wake of the coronavirus has made this type of fact-gathering the new normal.

Complicating Boylen’s future was a strange news release in which he welcomed Karnisovas to his post.

‘‘I want to welcome Arturas to the Chicago Bulls,’’ Boylen said in the release. ‘‘He has a wealth of experience as a player and executive and a strong reputation within the basketball community. I commend Jerry and [chief operating officer] Michael [Reinsdorf] for bringing Arturas on board.

‘‘I am thankful for the support that John and Gar provided me and my staff when I became our head coach. Their commitment and belief in our team played a key role in helping me establish a foundation for how I wanted to coach our team.’’

Karnisovas declined to make a firm statement about Boylen’s job security.

‘‘For now, we’re going to be evaluating, communicating and seeing how I can help them,’’ Karnisovas said about a time frame for a decision on Boylen.

The Sun-Times, citing a source, reported last week that Boylen thinks he will return.