Chicago Bulls: New front office has players’ attention and buy-in

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Fans are going to be even more excited about the Chicago Bulls’ new front office.

In less than a week, the Chicago Bulls kick off their preseason. After a 9-month hiatus, fans are going to get to watch meaningful Bulls basketball — and this year, things will be different.

When the Bulls last took the floor, fans saw a 108-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before the pandemic took over our world, the Bulls were at least able to go out with a win. But, that was one of very few positives to take away from the 2019-2020 campaign.

During the first stint of home quarantine, fans were able to take a trip back down memory lane with ESPN’s The Last Dance, but during that series, we were all reminded just how stagnant this franchise had been during the GarPax era. The front office took center stage as fans immediately drew comparisons and dreamed for better days ahead.

We all got our wish when the Bulls rid themselves of Gar Forman and John Paxson, bringing in a new set of big guns atop the organization. Vice President Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley are now running the show, and there has been plenty of positive feedback thus far.

These Chicago Bulls will be different — that, you can count on.

Some of the best commentary we’ve heard came today when Thaddeus Young told K.C. Johnson of NBCS Chicago about the team’s recent workouts.

That’s a stark difference between comments the young Daniel Gafford made via Twitch about previous head coach Jim Boylen — what Gafford called “constructive criticism.”

Karnisovas, Eversley and Billy Donovan are such a polar opposite from what this franchise had been dealing with for so long, even before the Boylen days. The Bulls went after proven, respected guys in Karnisovas and Eversley and then hired a head coach with previous head coaching experience. Not only that, but Donovan was arguably the biggest coaching candidate on the open market.

The players now see their executives leading by example. They’re in the thick of the hard work it takes to turn things around. Imagine seeing Forman in the weight room, in the squat rack with Zach LaVine; or Paxson doing box jumps alongside Coby White.

That ain’t happening, folks.

These new guys get it. They understand what it takes to receive buy-in from the players. It’s about leadership, and leadership requires action. It requires showing humility. The old phrase, “I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself” comes to mind when you hear about how much the players love Karnisovas and Eversley.

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If you weren’t already optimistic about the future of this team, you’re likely chomping at the bit to turn on the television and see how hard these guys play for their new regime. The 2020-2021 Bulls may not be a championship contender, but they’re going to be a whole lot different than last year — and for years to come.