CHICAGO — Chalk up another trophy for the Bulls, Gar Forman has proved you don’t need to be Derrick Rose or coach Derrick Rose to win awards: you just need to be the guy who pays him.
The Bulls GM was named Co-Executive of the Year today, and award he will split with Miami’s Pat Riley (for obvious reasons).
“[I'm] truly honored and deeply humbled” said Forman of the award. Forman is being recognized for his numerous level headed and imaginative decisions which have helped out the Bulls into the second round of the Eastern Conference Finals.
One of those decisions was crafting what is now known as The Bench Mob. Forman brought in guys like Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Kurt Thomas and C.J. Watson; all of whom contributed greatly to the Bulls best record since 1997-98.
Another big deal Forman inked was Carlos Boozer. Unlike Riley down in Miami, the Bulls didn’t get any of the big 3 free agents this year but they instead got something that worked out better. Boozer came in and produced well during the season and became one of the centerpieces of this starting five.
Forman was also responsible for giving Joakim Noah and extension which will keep in Chicago for the foreseeable future. The move not only sent a message to those who wanted to trade the center, but it has turned out to be perhaps his crowning achievement thus far in his tenure as GM. Of course it will always be second to whatever he does involving Derrick Rose, but locking up Noah looks like a brilliant move at the moment.
A move that is just as brilliant, was the firing of Vinny del Negro and the hiring of Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau has gone on to coach the team to 62 wins and has a Coach of the Year award to show for it.
But in true Bulls fashion, Forman isn’t taking any credit.
“This is a team award. Our entire front office — from everybody involved — has got a piece of this. I’m just happy that if there are votes given, the Chicago Bulls are getting them.” said Forman, “It means we’re doing something right.”
Forman’s counterpart and former GM of the Bulls himself, John Paxson, finished third in the voting.
“[Paxson] and Gar have done a great job. I wish they both shared the award.” said Tom Thibodeau. “I’m just thrilled for those guys. Those guys have done a fabulous job.”