Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf heads into the Hall of Fame this weekend, the competitive man at the top of a franchise that dominated the NBA for much of the 1990s (he should spend a lot of his speech thanking Michael Jordan).
A few years back Reinsdorf thought he had another team that might win some titles, one led by Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, with Tom Thibodeau as coach. But a series of injuries to Rose (and later Noah) benched those dreams of a return to glory. Thibodeau was forced out a year ago, and this summer the Bulls closed the door on that era by trading Rose. Reinsdorf talked about the transition with K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
“What we felt was it was time,” Reinsdorf said of Rose’s trade. “We felt Joakim wasn’t going to be a frontline guy anymore. I was pretty confident that Pau (Gasol) was going to leave. So it was important for us to get the center in (Robin) Lopez. It was time for Derrick to go on and play someplace else and try to establish himself. Gar and Pax were high on the Grant kid (Jerian). We thought that was the necessary first step no matter how we were going to go.”
Moving on from the Rose/Noah/Thibodeau era and making this Jimmy Butler‘s team was the right move. However, the Bulls followed that up with moves that left a lot of people shaking their heads — signing Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. It leaves the Bulls as a team lacking shooting and with some real defensive questions.
“We’re going to be competitive. I’m not predicting anything. But remember, as bad as we were last year, we beat Cleveland three out of four and Toronto four out of four…
“Those three guys are all high character guys and they all want it to work out,” he said. “They’ll get along with (coach Fred Hoiberg) and each other. Each guy knows what the other two guys are like. And they want to be there.”
Just a reminder: Regular season wins over a team does not equal playoff wins.
Reinsdorf owns the team and should head into next season being optimistic — all fans should be optimistic this time of year. My only question is this: When this roster flames out for a couple of years, will there be a serious review of the work of this front office?