New Bulls VP Arturas Karnisovas will be ‘deliberate’ with coaching change
The Sun-Times has been reporting that the new-look front office has all but made the final decision on coach Jim Boylen, but Karnisovas said Saturday that the process has to be thorough.
Arturas Karnisovas knew it wasn’t what a growing percentage of Bulls fans wanted to hear Saturday.
Then again, the new executive vice president of basketball operations isn’t into making public sacrifices to appease the masses.
It’s not how he operates, and it’s not how he wants the new front office to be perceived leaguewide.
The old regime often made emotional, knee-jerk decisions, but this is a new day.
So coach Jim Boylen and his staff can sleep easy.
“We want to spend time internally to assure that we are thorough in our appraisals,” Karnisovas said in a Zoom meeting with the media. “I know that you are anxious for me to comment definitively on our future of the Chicago Bulls. I understand that anticipation. That said, I take pride in being deliberate and thoughtful in my decision-making and take the weight of my decisions seriously. I’m not inclined to make evaluations prematurely to satisfy our excitement to move this team forward.”
Don’t expect that to change next week or even next month.
Now that the Bulls are one of the eight teams left out of the restart, they have plenty of time.
Basically, why make a move on Boylen and a new coach now when top target Ime Udoka could be tied up with his 76ers assistant job until October?
The Sun-Times has reported for weeks that Boylen’s fate is all but sealed, largely based on the mixed feedback Karnisovas and new general manager Marc Eversley received from key players and other personnel.
But as many former and current employees of the organization have learned — some the hard way — the Bulls are far too often like a season of “Game of Thrones.’’ There has to be tact in their moves, and it’s best to be three steps ahead.
Being patient with Boylen makes perfect sense for several reasons:
First, it shows Michael and Jerry Reinsdorf — Boylen supporters — that the new regime gave “their guy” a fair assessment.
Secondly, it shows the rest of the league that the organization’s practice of treating NBA coaches like broken lawn chairs, to be discarded with little remorse, has come to an end.
And now with no games to use to assess Boylen and his staff, it’s no wonder Karnisovas admitted that “it is hard.”
“I haven’t met [Boylen] face-to-face yet,” Karnisovas said. “There haven’t been any practices, there haven’t been any games since I became a part of this organization. I really take pride in my relationships that I cultivate with coaching staffs and my basketball-operation staffs. I haven’t seen them. I’m looking forward to it. So after we found out we were left out of the bubble in Orlando, we’ll have all the time in the world, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Starting this week, when Karnisovas and Eversley are finally expected to set foot in the Advocate Center.
Ideally, the league will allow the eight teams left out to have some sort of league play or joint scrimmages this summer, but that’s all talk for now.
Karnisovas wants to make his final decisions on action, not just talk.
“Coaching in the league is very difficult,’’ Karnisovas said. “To make a decision about coaching is really hard. It’s probably the hardest thing for executives. So I look at a lot of aspects. I’ve had numerous conversations. That said, I’d like to be in a building, to be in practices, to be around the coaching staff in meetings.
“Talking to players and coaches, obviously everyone is disappointed with the results last year. They definitely underperformed. In order for me to keep players and coaches accountable, I have to have personal relationships with them. That’s what I need to cultivate. That’s my objective this offseason.’’