Bulls VP John Paxson: ‘We’ve Had One Bad Year’

by April 14, 2016
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After missing the Playoffs for the first time in eight seasons, the Chicago Bulls’ front-office faced the media Wednesday night, and promised changes this summer.

Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf and his top lieutenants—executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman—all said they were disappointed with Chicago’s 42-40 record, and hinted that no one on the roster is off-limits.

Despite having stumbled quite a bit in his first year on the job, Fred Hoiberg’s immediate future with the franchise appears secure.

Per the Chicago Tribune:

The changes will be to the roster and, according to sources, Hoiberg’s staff.

 

“We’ve had one bad year,” said Paxson, forgetting 2007-08 in which Scott Skiles lost his job. “I can point to a lot of really good years where we’ve built something from scratch. And we have confidence that we’re going to get it right.” […] Both executives made clear nobody is untouchable. Paxson joked he played with Michael Jordan, the only untouchable. That means trade talks for Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, a pairing Paxson admitted didn’t mesh consistently, will be explored.

 

The optimism for Hoiberg’s future was palpable. And Paxson downplayed a question about whether management miscalculated Tom Thibodeau’s dismissal, reiterating it was done in the best interests of the organization. […] “Fred is a very bright guy,” Paxson said. “Every time we talk to him about basketball philosophy, we feel he’s on the right track mentally. We have to help him get to where that belief and vision and message translates to the court. I do think our vision of how to play, is what the league is getting to now. It’s more skilled basketball players, more pace up and down. We didn’t play that way this year for a lot of reasons. I think that’s where Fred and his staff have to really get down to detail and get our guys to play that way because I don’t think it’s necessarily a personnel issue. If you demand (a lot) of people and hold accountable, I think you can get them to do things on the floor. I know that from experience. Phil Jackson challenged me when he first got the job and I didn’t think I could do the things he asked me to do.”