The All-Star weekend in Chicago highlighted how far the Chicago Bulls have fallen under current ownership. Bulls fans deserve better.
This season’s NBA All-Star festivities were an unqualified success, despite taking place in a city that the basketball gods abandoned long ago.
There were touching Kobe Bryant tributes, and the game itself was one of the best in years.
This experience must’ve felt strange to modern-day fans of the Chicago Bulls franchise.
Seeing such a successful event take place in the House That Michael Jordan Built only revealed how far the Bulls have fallen.
And ownership is entirely at fault.
As a kid who grew up in Europe, I know firsthand that the Chicago Bulls were once the most famous basketball team in the world. They dominated the 1990s, winning six NBA titles in eight years.
How times have changed.
Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf resisted talk of Chicago hosting the All-Star event for years, claiming that it was more trouble than it’s worth:
They’d have to force me to take the All-Star Game. They take over the building; your season-ticket holders have to be in a lottery to see if they get tickets, and then they don’t get a good ticket. Really, no good can come out of it, and all it can do is upset your fans.
Seriously, Jerry? It would upset your fans? You and your front office are doing that job pretty well on your own.
Are you sure it has nothing to do with the uncomfortable national spotlight that would be shining on your once-great franchise? Perhaps that attention would highlight the absolute disgrace that it has since become.
Jim Boylen is the guy on the bench who has to face the fans and media daily. That’s par for the course if you’re an NBA coach, but Boylen’s situation isn’t normal.
Any other franchise would have cut him loose long ago.
Not only did the Chicago Bulls not cut him loose, they actually extended his deal last year. John Paxson and Gar Forman doubled-down on failure.
And the fans know who is really to blame.
During ESPN’s First Take, a “fire GarPax” chant broke out from Bulls fans (via Twitter)
Fans know this coach is nothing more than a yes-man for John Paxson.
He failed in college basketball at Utah, with multiple players choosing to transfer out of the Utah program rather than work with him.
Chicago Bulls fans are haunted by a waking nightmare. They have a front office who will resist sacking a yes man. They have a mediocre coach who won’t resign because he knows he won’t land another job on this level ever again.
John Paxson has been in Chicago for over fifteen years and has hired five head coaches. Yet the Chicago Bulls haven’t made it to the NBA Finals since Michael Jordan’s second retirement.
How Paxson still has a job is baffling. Bulls fans deserve far better.