Michael Reinsdorf Rumors
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.
Butler, sources said, is a favorite of team President Michael Reinsdorf. The Tribune reported in June that ownership at the time wanted to avoid a full rebuild, having lived through the post-dynasty era. Whether that stance will change is unknown. Butler was asked Wednesday about his relationship with management. “It’s good. They’re my bosses,” Butler said. “We talk like men if I have a problem. If they have a problem, we talk like we’re supposed to. It’s very professional.”
Horace Grant, who serves as special advisor to president and chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf, says Chicago doesn’t need any drastic moves to reach the postseason. In a video posted on CSNChicago, the former Bull says the team just needs its key players to stay healthy. “I wouldn’t worry about trading anyone,” Grant said. “I wouldn’t worry about trading Jimmy or anything. I will find a way with the pieces that we have now, which I sincerely think that we’re going to make the playoffs, that we’re going to make a push.”
Reinsdorf, chairman of the Bulls for the past 31 years and chairman of MLB’s Chicago White Sox for 35 is one of the few owners whose teams have won championships in two of the four major U.S. team sports. The multi-sport owner has kept things seemingly simple along the way. Seizing opportunities as they presented themselves, suffering little apparent doubt, brushing himself off briskly after missteps and sticking to a few core principles have him, at age 80, fit and nearly as involved as ever. “He wants to win,” said Michael Reinsdorf, 49, the second-born of Reinsdorf’s three sons and the president and COO of the Bulls since 2010. “After the World Series [won by the White Sox in 2005], he was like, ‘Well, this will make it easier now. I won’t get so emotional now during games.’ And it’s never changed. Easier said than done.”
But Butler’s emboldened state after landing a max contract led to several disruptive moments throughout the season, in film sessions and on the practice floor, sources said. That they continued sometimes unchecked throughout the season didn’t bode well for team chemistry, which started to fray in Thibodeau’s last season. In fact, that reason is why there’s optimism for Hoiberg’s future. Even management now believes this core was held together one season too long, that any coach would’ve struggled to overcome this tired team’s tendency to give in to adversity.
All indications are executive vice president John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman will lead that attempt. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf long has valued management continuity and praises Paxson in any rare interview. Forman has cultivated a strong relationship with Michael Reinsdorf, the team’s president and chief executive officer. Their wives run the Bulls’ charity arm.