Gar Forman Rumors
Despite some outside perception to the contrary, the jobs of executive vice president John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman are safe, sources familiar with ownership’s thinking told the Tribune. In fact, ownership’s trust in Paxson and Forman remains so intact that they would be retained even if the Bulls miss the postseason for a second straight season, one source said.
It’s well-documented that Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and son Michael, who runs the business side as president and chief operating officer, are loyal and long have favored front-office continuity. But there’s also inherent trust in the roster-building process that Paxson, Forman and their staff have in place.
After hitting on back-end first-rounders Taj Gibson in 2009 and Butler in 2011, Paxson and Forman have drawn outside criticism for recent picks or draft-day acquisitions Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell, Doug McDermott and Bobby Portis. But the Reinsdorfs still hold management’s talent evaluation in high regard, one source said, and also have valued its ability to avoid hamstringing the franchise with bloated, long-term contracts for players with minimal impact.
Randy Brown couldn’t sit silently any longer. For the third time in two seasons, including a line in a Tribune story last season, the former Bull and current assistant coach watched his name get dragged through the mud, accused of being general manager Gar Forman’s eyes and ears inside the locker room. On Saturday, Brown reached his breaking point, passionately defending his character. “Look, this is a public position. I get it. But my reputation is being slandered at this point,” Brown told the Tribune. “I’m losing sleep the last couple of days. I’m trying to get over it. But it’s tough.”
Forget the contract stuff. Last May, Butler was irate after stories leaked out that claimed he had turned into a diva, and he believes the leaks came from the front office. Butler thought Forman was a guy who “only shows loyalty to the top of the pyramid,’’ a source said then. He addressed the issue in October, saying, “Am I a diva? I don’t call it that. My will to win rubs people the wrong way sometimes. I can blame it on that but won’t apologize for it. Never will.’’