Michael Reinsdorf said the negative talk surrounding Paxson and Forman “perplexes” him.
Bulls fans who were hoping for a front office overhaul will have to wait.
Despite another rocky season, team president Michael Reinsdorf told the Chicago Tribune executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman will be back with the team next year.
“We believe they’ve done a great job,” Reinsdorf said. “I know that in this market, with some of our fans and some in the media, they look at it differently. That perplexes me. Let’s talk about them individually because that’s another thing I don’t understand — why they’re referred to as “GarPax” when they have different job responsibilities.”
Reinsdorf gave examples on how the men have been successful in their positions, listing the players Paxson has drafted and recruited (Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah were named) and how the Bulls defeated the defending NBA champions, the Heat, in the playoffs.
The itch to fire the pair comes mostly from the team’s records over the past two seasons. The Bulls finished with a 27-55 record in 2017-18 and currently sit at just 18-46 this year.
“Right now, we’re going through our second rebuild,” Reinsdorf said of the team’s struggles. “That also mystifies me. I listen to some people who reach out to me asking how many rebuilds can we do. This is our second rebuild. And given where we are today, I think for Year 2 of our rebuild to have two potential All-Stars in Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine and a great draft pick in Wendell Carter Jr., we’re in good shape.”
Reinsdorf said he doesn’t like how the fans are calling for the pair to get fired and he takes those jabs personally.
“It’s hard for me to see people that I admire and respect get criticized,” Reinsdorf said. “They have families. They have given a lot to this organization.”
Reinsdorf also responded to questions about coach Jim Boylen’s tenure, and whether he will be back next season. Reinsdorf reiterated Boylen will return and he is “very happy with the job that Jim has done.”
Boylen took over the Bulls’ head coaching duties mid-season after Fred Hoiberg was fired.