Let me start this article off with a question Pippen Peoples. Do you want the Chicago Bulls to win or not? Now that you have answered yes, after reading this ask yourself this question, Does the Chicago Bulls REALLY want to win or not? Well Pippen Peoples, you really don’t have to go further than the guy at the top to get your answer. He’s your Chairman, Jerry Reinsdorf. In part one of this audit I stated that Reinsdorf is going to have to change his ways for this team to be successful in the future. What does that mean? It means Jerry Reinsdorf is going to have to step in and figure out what to do with the Tom Thibodeau and Gar Forman beef because history will repeat itself and it will lead the Chicago Bulls BACK to the bottom of the league if it does. In part two of this series, Pippen Ain’t Easy audits the owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Jerry Reinsdorf will tell you that he has basketball people in place to run the team. Cool, I can respect that and I wish other owners would do the same. But what if the basketball people you hired aren’t working together? It is no secret that the disconnect between head coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Gar Forman is among the worst in the NBA. This is a Pippen Ain’t Easy takeover. We run the Chicago Bulls! (For this article.) Here’s what needs to happen.
1) We are going to set up a meeting with Tom Thibodeau and Gar Forman and tell them what’s going to happen.
First off we are going to tell them whatever beef they have between each other, they had better grill in up and eat it. Look Pippen Peoples, this is no secret in NBA circles. The Chicago Bulls top guys who are responsible for the direction of this team going forward is totally disconnected. Let’s be clear. The NBA franchise is in the business of winning games. Gar Forman, your job is to get players to help this team win. Tom Thibodeau, your job is to get the best out of the players that Forman gets. Look its crystal clear that you don’t like each other. Who cares. I’m not particularly fond of either of you this year. Forman, you didn’t go get anyone for the playoff run until the bus ride to the United Center for Game one of the first round and Thibodeau, your rotations were terrible and you didn’t use the players on the bench. Cool. Shut up! Work together and stop embarrassing the franchise.
Pippen Peoples we are in the middle of a rebuilding project. Yeah, the team says retooling. No. The Bulls have two first round draft picks. I assume that the status quo is that the head coach and GM have to talk somewhat to scout, assess the team’s needs and draft the right player. I’m not a real owner, but I’m playing one for this article.
2) To all of the other teams in the NBA. This is Ronald Agers, Editor of Pippen Ain’t Easy and De facto Owner of the Chicago Bulls for this article. Tom Thibodeau is our coach. He’s under contract for a while and he will honor the contract. The rumors can cease, he’s not going anywhere. I would say it in Spanish but I was terrible in college and almost didn’t pass because of it.
Now Pippen Peoples if Jerry Reinsdorf would follow this blueprint (he can skip the Spanish part) or get Gar Forman to do his job and say it, it would go far in clearing the dysfunction that the franchise is in right now. Yeah, I said it DYSFUNCTION! I was very clear in my criticism of Thibodeau in the playoffs and will stand by it because he was awful. But Charles Barkley is correct in his statement. The Bulls have to show respect to Thibodeau and show that the franchise has his back. Sure he signed a 17 million dollar contract last year. So that gives them the right NOT to show unity in a statement saying that Tom Thibodeau is our coach. Are the Bulls that arrogant?
3) We are not going to worry about the top-level free agents. We are going to get two good college players in the draft and get a second tier free agent and force Thibodeau to use him.
Carmelo Anthony will not come to Chicago.
Kevin Love will not come to Chicago.
Pau Gasol will not come to Chicago.
You know what? SO! The Bulls already have a solid core of players to build around provided Thibodeau haven’t run them all in the ground this year in Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. If Tony Snell looked at his playoff performance and noticed he needs work, maybe he can link up with Taj Gibson in the offseason and work on his game. Here’s a couple of guys that can work within this system if the Bulls can convince them to show.
Shawn Marion aka “The Matrix”
Shawn provides a veteran presence who can be effective without a play being called for him. This is a good thing considering that Rose will be back and Marion will need to be a live body who can defend. He’s always been a good rebounder and he can hit occasional jumper even though it makes Joakim Noah’s shot look like Steph Curry. He has championship experience, so that will help in the locker room.
I know if D.J. Augustin stays in Chicago he’ll be happy to have Ariza on the team. Ariza threw Augustin in the closet after Game two when the Bulls were playing the Wizards in the first round in the playoffs. Ariza can shoot the perimeter shot and obviously can defend. Like Marion, he has championship experience that will help in the locker room.
Finally this franchise needs to find an assistant coach that has a good offensive system to implement next season.
Maybe Ron Adams did this for the Bulls, maybe he didn’t. But if Gar Forman fired this guy without having a good replacement that can handle the offense. I would fire this guy immediately. But let’s proceed. If Adrian Griffin is going to Cleveland, I would be looking for an offensive guru for the bench. Derrick Rose going down with a knee injury…again is no excuse for a team to be dead last in scoring.
The Washington Wizards didn’t have to go any further than Pippen Ain’t Easy to figure out the Bulls offensive system. It was about as predictable as the sun coming out tomorrow. Get mad if you want Bulls fans but if you scroll down on the website, it’s right there. Enjoy!
Now ending my short tenure as owner of the Chicago Bulls you will see that I did not do much. Getting two guys that need to work together shouldn’t be that hard. Whomever has a problem with the program can easily be shown the door. Issuing a statement to the press that Tom Thibodeau is the Chicago Bulls coach is a sign of respect and appreciation for the work he has done. Finally, taking stock in what you have and building on it can be cost-effective and efficient. Take a look at Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio. They are not over the luxury tax threshold, but they built a team up and are thriving.
Okay Jerry, you can have the squad back. Now do something. The last time you sat back and did nothing it broke up a dynasty. If you do nothing this time the Bulls will probably end up in the lottery and the team will be a laughingstock.