Chicago Bulls: Why the wrong man was fired

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls parted ways with Fred Hoiberg, but they let the wrong man go.

When the news broke early Monday morning that the Chicago Bulls had relieved head coach Fred Hoiberg of his duties, the Mayor of Ames wasn’t the only person surprised. I was pretty surprised when I learned of the news myself, and I outlined the reasons why the move makes little sense at this point.

However, the decision wasn’t necessarily wrong because Hoiberg is the right coach for this team. The decision was wrong because Bulls’ ownership allowed Gar Forman and John Paxson to make it.

I’m starting to wonder whether “Gar” is short for Garfield, as this cat has had more than nine lives. The same can be said about Paxson, but he doesn’t have a cat-sounding name, so the pun didn’t work so well.

Speaking of things that don’t work so well, back to the GarPax show. Without looking it up, do you have any idea how many head coaches Paxson has hired during his 16-year tenure with Los Lobos?

Jim Boylen is number five (Scott Skiles, Vinny Del Negro, Tom Thibodeau, Fred Hoiberg, and Boylen). And we’re not letting Forman off the hook. He has been the General Manager for the last four.

After this brain trust fired Thibodeau and brought in Hoiberg, Fred would have been well served to give them a compass as a thank you gift. At least then, perhaps GarPax could have had some idea what direction they wanted to go in with this team. When you bring in a coach with a particular style of play and are about to embark on a rebuild, you generally want the personnel to match.

Instead, the Bulls tried to keep butts in the seats and threw together a team they hoped would be competitive. After that failed two-year experiment, Hoiberg got the chance (kind of) last year to work with his type of players. Unfortunately for him, the injury bug prevented him from having the entire squad for the majority of the season. That has also been the case so far this year, which makes the timing of the firing so puzzling as Lauri Markkanen just returned.

Why Hoiberg firing makes no sense. dark. Next

In light of all of the terrible player personnel decisions, bad draft picks, and mediocre results during their tenure, remarkably they were allowed to decide who the next coach will be to lead this team at a critical juncture. While it remains to be seen how good Boylen will be, if they get it wrong, it could set this rebuild back even further.