Chicago Bulls news: Tom Thibodeau gives candid thoughts on GarPax

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau gave his thoughts on Gar Forman and John Paxson

The Gar Forman and John Paxson era for the Chicago Bulls is officially over. Arturas Karnisovas has now taken the role as team president, and Marc Eversley will join the team as the GM of the future.

For the first time in a long time, new voices will dictate the direction the Bulls go in. The new regime will benefit several players.

The general consensus is that the decision to bring in a new executive regime was a good one. Many fans in Chicago believe it was long overdue.

When the All-Star game came to Chicago this year, fans commissioned a billboard that stated “Fire GarPax.”

It’s important to remember, though, that the GarPax era wasn’t all bad. Former head coach Tom Thibodeau made sure to make his thoughts on GarPax abundantly clear on a recent podcast appearance.

Tom Thibodeau speaks on the good GarPax did for Chicago Bulls

Speaking to Adrian Wojnarowkski of ESPN, Thibodeau talked about how he believes GarPax did a great job of building the team while he was head coach. The perspective he gained in Minnesota especially helped him:

"“Having done the president’s job in Minnesota, I have a much better understanding of the challenges that you face when you’re in the seat of the general manager or Vice President and things like that. So, I think with both Gar and John, you know, I have an appreciation for what they did. They did a lot of great things there, too. I know drafting where we were drafting because we had a great record every year, you’re at the end of the first round. And to get guys like a Jimmy Butler late, [Nikola] Mirotic, Taj Gibson, that’s a credit to them.”"

While Thibodeau is talking primarily about the years he was with the team himself, he does seem to believe GarPax did a great job of maintaining a winner despite choppy waters.

"“So I thought they did a great job. I thought our organization did a great job just to survive that.”"

The duo drafted Derrick Rose who helped launch the Bulls to a winning record. For a period of time, Rose and the Bulls were one of the strongest teams slated to contend with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the Miami Heat deep in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Rose, a hometown hero, dealt with injury setbacks throughout his time in Chicago. As the team’s best player (and the league’s youngest MVP of all-time), the team suffered from great expectations that didn’t waver, despite playing large chunks of seasons without Rose due to injury.

So, to insulate the team from risk by making wise selections at the end of the first round, GarPax certainly did well.

Generally, it has been assumed that Thibodeau and management butted heads frequently in Chicago, part of what led to him getting fired despite leading the Bulls to strong success. While that still may be true, Thibodeau clearly has gained some perspective on the situation.

There’s still a lengthy laundry list of things that GarPax slipped on. Paxson even once got in a physical altercation with head coach Vinny Del Negro.

It’s likely fans won’t ever remember the GarPax era with fondness, but time often heals all. A co-sign from one of the organization’s most successful coaches certainly doesn’t hurt.

Next. 15 best draft picks in Bulls history. dark