CHICAGO – As time dragged on, the chatter from fans became louder and louder on social media.
Much of the anger of the Bulls’ fan base over what’s transpired the last two years on the court has been centered around Jim Boylen. The successor of Fred Hoiberg, who received great support from Michael Reinsdorf and John Paxson, was never able to get the Bulls off the ground in what was a supposed rebuild.
Yet nearly four months into his tenure as the Bulls’ executive vice president, Arturas Karnisovas had yet to make a move when it came to Boylen. Some wondered if management was behind it, wanting to keep Boylen around to avoid paying a buyout or because of their admiration for him as a coach.
But Friday proved a few things.
First, that Karnisovas did his due diligence to get to meet Boylen and evaluate, which he pledged to do from the start. At the same time, it shows that the Bulls’ building of a new era will be based on decisions made by him and him alone.
“I’d like to thank Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf for trusting to make that basketball decision. There were definitely discussions with the ownership but at the end of the day to autonomy was left up to me,” said Karnisovas.
It’s a big step towards showing the organization and the fan base that indeed the new executive has the power to make the big decisions without the influence of ownership. Karnisovas said numerous times that it was basketball factors that drove him to oust Boylen after just under two years at the help of the team on the floor.
During his news conference, Karnisovas said that money wasn’t an issue at all when it came to making the choice.
“Ownership game autonomy to make that decision,” said Karnisovas. “It was based on basketball, not financial.”
Now comes the search for a new coach, one which will be highly anticipated following the departure of Boylen. It will come on Karnisovas’ timeline, which with the circumstances of the pandemic could be lengthy.
But that’s not a problem for the executive, as he showed with the decision to fire Boylen.
“I took my time for a reason,” said Karnisovas. “There was a process that I took to make that decision over the last few months since I was hired in April. I had no timeline. This was the right time to make this change, and that’s what I did.”
What he does from now on will be by his own accord, which is very much appreciated from Bulls fans hoping positive change is around the corner.