Oh you thought Pippen Ain’t Easy was going to leave out the owner? Come on man! It wasn’t going to happen. In business, my father Walter Agers always said the same thing when it came to jobs in my 20 years of media. If there are problems going on in the organization, take a long look at the guy at the top. Well at the top of the Chicago Bulls pyramid is the Chairman of the Board, Jerry Reinsdorf. In my close to six months as Editor of Pippen Ain’t Easy, fans have come at me strong on my analysis of this franchise. I mentioned that the General Manager, Gar Forman was the definition of the question that I ask every Bulls fan. Do you want to win or not? Because it is a simple yes or no question. Most people say yes we want a championship yada, yada, yada. Now the next question that usually comes after that is…Are you willing to pay the price? Guess who the symbol of that question is???? I got a question from one of the Pippen Peoples from the Forman article, what free agent will get the Bulls to title number seven? Well let me tell you…it doesn’t matter. Jerry Reinsdorf is going to have to change the way he does business before the Bulls can go forward.
If Jerry Reinsdorf is in this for the money, the Bulls are not going to get better and you fans are going to be even more frustrated with my articles next year than this year (Believe me, some of you guys were hot.) I have stated this before, your Chicago Bulls are a billion dollar franchise according to Forbes. Here’s the problem. Thanks to that bald-headed guy whose statue is sitting out in front of the United Center named Michael Jordan and the guy this website is named after Scottie Pippen all of this is possible. In the nineties your Chicago Bulls was probably the second most powerful dynasty in NBA history (Number one is obviously the Boston Celtics in the sixties 11 titles in 13 years? No question.) The Bulls won six titles in eight years. It should have been more than that. No, I’m not talking about Jordan’s first retirement to pursue his father’s dream of him making it as a baseball player. I’m talking about after Jordan showed the Jazz why it is stupid not to double team him crunch time. You remember when Michael Jordan stole the ball from the Mailman, Karl Malone went to the other end of the floor pushed Bryon Russell into the paint (give it up Pippen Peoples, Jordan pushed off) and posed after sinking that 17 footer for title number six. Things were beautiful back then wasn’t it?
Until that time we all know and hate. That was when the Bulls hit the red button and blew up the squad. A three-time championship squad with arguably the greatest player in NBA history still in his prime on it. This team should have stayed together AT LEAST until they lost. Do you see Pat Riley ready to bomb the Heat squad at the end of the season? If he did, that would be considered stupid right? Let’s break it down…
Pat Riley bringing in Fred Hoiberg to replace Eric Spoelstra.
Sounds ridiculous don’t it. Well that’s what the Bulls did to Phil Jackson when Jerry Krause openly recruited Tim Floyd from a college campus. Plus letting the world in on the dysfunction between the coaches and the front office (sound familiar?)
Dwayne Wade retiring because he won’t play for anyone else but Spoelstra.
Everyone come along on this fantastic voyage with me. Michael Jordan retiring because he wouldn’t play for anyone except Phil Jackson. We all know that was not true because he was in a Washington Wizards uniform a couple of years later.
LeBron James leaving Miami in a sign and trade to Dallas.
I had to stay in Texas to make the point. Scottie gets traded to Houston after years of haggling over his contract.
I could go on but if this really happened, do you have any idea of the ridicule the Miami Heat would get if this happened? Well it happened in Chicago. There was one man who could have stopped all of this. His name…Jerry Reinsdorf.
Jerry Reinsdorf is a hands off owner which I can say at times is a good thing. Why? Because you don’t have to look any farther than the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies who have playoff squads with more than 50 wins but are in complete disarray because of owners sticking their noses where they don’t belong.
Joe Lacob, the owner of the Golden State Warriors who fires Mark Jackson who has led the Warriors back to respectability after 20 years of being a laughingstock? Then throws out interest in a guy in Chicago (Thibodeau) who he would like to coach the team. He then settles on a guy who hasn’t coached a game yet in the NBA in Steve Kerr. Boy the six degrees of separation with the Bulls don’t stop here does it? Good luck Steve. Last I heard, the franchise player loved playing for Jackson along with many others in the Warriors locker room.
Oh how about this guy, Robert Pera the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies who fired Lionel Hollins last year after leading the team the Western Conference Finals last year. Then did one better and fired basically the ENTIRE front office including the CEO Jason Levien and Director of Player Personnel Stu Lash. By the way Levien was one of the main reasons Hollins was fired. He then let his coach Dave Joerger go visit the Minnesota Timberwolves before signing him to an extension. Makes Elvis impersonators want to sing don’t it?
Here’s the point Pippen Peoples, we can see from these examples that an owner can cause mayhem by interfering and not stepping back and letting the people who know basketball do their jobs. I could talk about Donald Sterling but why? He’s history in about a week, but you get my drift.
Reinsdorf caused chaos by doing the opposite. He trusted Jerry Krause with thinking he could build another championship team. Uh, he thought wrong. Real wrong. He had to know that Krause and Jackson were not getting along and he could have brought them both in and told them to do their jobs. If they both shut up and listen maybe Phil comes back, then Michael, then Scottie and maybe everyone else in the Michael Jordan “I Want A Ring” foundation would have followed suit.
What in the world does this have to do with 2014? Plenty. Pippen Ain’t Easy will show you in part two of this detailed audit.