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Bulls 'Leaning Toward' Replacing Jim Boylen As Head Coach

May 26, 2020 12:00 PM

The new Chicago Bulls' front office "have had detailed discussions with players and retained personnel from the previous regime and were getting enough mixed reviews that they were leaning toward starting with a new coach" writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Arturas Karnisovas recently replaced John Paxson and Gar Forman and will make the decision on whether to fire Jim Boylen.

A source reiterated to the Chicago Sun-Times that Michael Reinsdorf won't try to influence the decision on Boylen and will allow his dismissal if that's the decision Karnisovas reaches. Ownership and Paxson have supported Boylen.

Joe Cowley/Chicago Sun-Times

Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Lauri Markkanen Wants To Sign Extension With Bulls

May 26, 2020 10:28 AM

The future of Lauri Markkanen with the Chicago Bulls has been an uncertain question as he becomes eligible for an extension this offseason.

The Bulls changed over their front office by hiring Arturas Karnisovas, so Markkanen will also be judged by a new regime.

Markkanen went on the record, however, by indicating his interest in remaining with the Bulls.

“I want to stay in Chicago and sign an extension (with the Bulls), no question. I love this city,” said Markkanen.

Markkanen is excited for Chicago's changes.

“Their work speaks for itself. I can’t describe how excited I am.”

Josh Jeffares/On Tap Sports Net

Tags: Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Netflix: 23.8 Million Households Outside Of U.S. Watched 'The Last Dance'

May 21, 2020 1:19 AM

23.8 million households outside of the U.S. have watched "The Last Dance," according to Netflix.

Netflix bases its streaming numbers on whether a member has watched a show for a minimum of two minutes.

The last two episodes of "The Last Dance" averaged 5.6 million viewers on ESPN.

"The Last Dance" is set to launch on Netflix in America on April 19th.

Todd Spangler/Variety

Tags: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

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Jerry Reinsdorf At Peace With How Bulls' Dynasty Ended

May 18, 2020 3:54 PM

Jerry Reinsdorf pitched Michael Jordan on returning to the Chicago Bulls for the 98-99 season just a few days into the lockout.

"Don't say anything now," Reinsdorf told Jordan. "We're in a lockout. We don't know how long this lockout is going to go. Let's get to the end, and maybe I can talk Phil [Jackson] back into it. Maybe after ... maybe he'll change his mind. So don't say anything."

Jordan reaffirmed he wouldn't play for anyone except Jackson, but he agreed to not make any final decisions until Reinsdorf talked to Jackson.

"I asked Phil to come back," Reinsdorf said. "And he says, 'No, it's time.' That was the expression he used, 'It's time.'"

Reinsdorf watched each episode of The Last Dance twice.

 

"The thing nobody wants to remember," Reinsdorf said, "during lockout, Michael was screwing around with a cigar cutter, and he cut his finger. He couldn't have played that year. He had to have surgery on the finger, so even if we could've brought everybody back, it wouldn't have made any sense."

Reinsdorf said it wouldn't have made a difference even if Jordan hadn't injured himself.

 

"The fact is, it's pretty obvious in 1998 that Michael carried this team," he said. "These guys were gassed. He could not have come back because of the cut finger. But even if he could've come back, the other players [Steve Kerr, Luc Longley, Jud Buechler, Dennis Rodman] were going to get offers that were way in excess of what they were worth.

"I know in Episode 10, [Jordan] says, 'They all would've come back for one year.' But there's not a chance in the world that Scottie Pippen would've come back on a one-year contract when he knew he could get a much bigger contract someplace else."

Pippen went to the Houston Rockets on a five-year, $67.2 million deal in a sign-and-trade.

Reinsdorf said he wishes the Bulls could have gone for one more title, but he's at peace with how things ended.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA

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RealGM Radio: Ben Taylor On The Last Dance

May 18, 2020 3:49 PM

Host Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux) and Ben Taylor of Thinking Basketball and the COVID Daily News podcast (@ElGee35) break down The Last Dance.

They discuss the narratives that shaped the story, Scottie Pippen’s place on the Bulls and in NBA history, whether the Bulls could have run it back in 1998-99 and much more.

 

Sponsored by BetOnline

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Tags: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, NBA, RealGM Radio

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Michael Jordan Was Willing To Re-Sign With Bulls For 98-99 Season

May 18, 2020 11:49 AM

Michael Jordan said he was willing to sign a one-year contract with the Chicago Bulls after the 97-98 season in an attempt to win their fourth straight championship.

"If you asked all the guys who won in '98 ... 'We'll give you a one-year contract to try for a seventh,' you think they would've signed? Yes, they would've signed," Jordan said. "Would I have signed for one year? Yes, I would've signed for one year. I've been signing one-year contracts up to that."

Jerry Krause told Phil Jackson that the 97-98 season would be his last with the Bulls no matter what.

But after the Bulls won their sixth title, Jerry Reinsdorf offered Jackson the opportunity to return.

"After the sixth championship, I offered him the opportunity to come back," Reinsdorf said. "[I said,] 'You've earned the opportunity to come back, regardless of what was said before now.'"

Jackson declined.

"I said, 'Well, I think I should just take a break,'" Jackson said. "I don't think it's fair to Jerry [Krause], and I know it would be difficult for him to accept that."

Jordan was showed footage of Jackson and Reinsdorf recounting the exchange.

"I can't wait to hear this. We've never had any dialogue about [it]. I've made my own assumptions about it," said Jordan.

As Jordan watched, his eyebrows popped up, and a disbelieving smirk crawled across his face.

"In '98, Krause already said at the beginning of the season, 'Phil can go 82-0, and he was never gonna be the coach.' So when Phil said it was the last dance, it was the last dance," Jordan said after watching the clip. "We knew they weren't going to keep the team. Now, they could've nixed all of it at the beginning of '98. Why say that statement at the beginning of '98?"

Jordan said he would have signed another contract to win their seventh title.

"Would Phil have done it? Yes," he continued. "Now, Pip, you would've had to do some convincing. But if Phil was going to be there, if Dennis was going to be there, if MJ was going to be there, to win our seventh? Pip is not going to miss out on that."

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA

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Game-Worn Pair Of Air Jordan 1s Sell For $560,000 At Sotheby Auction

May 17, 2020 1:06 PM

A game-worn pair of Air Jordan 1s from 1985 sold for $560,000 at a Southeby auction.

The two Nike sneakers, in size 13 and 13.5, featured Chicago Bulls colorways. They were originally estimated to go for as high as $150,000.

The pair of sneakers came from the collection of Jordan Geller, the founder of Shoezeum.

Hailey Waller/Bloomberg

Tags: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, NBA

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Arturas Karnisovas, Marc Eversley Reportedly Leaning Towards Replacing Jim Boylen

May 9, 2020 5:18 PM

Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley have received mixed feedback on the performance of Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen, and are leaning to replace him for next season, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Cowley adds that several key players reportedly ripped Boylen to Karnisovas and Eversley.

The Reinsdorfs, along with former vice president of basketball operations John Paxon, would like Boylen to remain as head coach.


Joe Cowley/Chicago Sun-Times

Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Steve Kerr 'Not Proud Of' Fight With Michael Jordan

May 7, 2020 4:50 PM

The next episode of "The Last Dance" will feature a practice scuffle between Michael Jordan and Steve Kerr. 

"It's not something I'm proud of," Kerr said of the incident. "It is something that happens from time to time on most teams during the season. Guys get into it during practice. It's just part of high-level competition. But it's very, very strange to know everybody's hearing this story and talking about it and then I'm going to be on camera talking about it. Michael is. And people are going to be examining this whole thing.

"It's like there's a reason camera crews generally aren't given that type of access. Now, I don't think there was any footage of that fight, because that didn't happen in '98, but just unearthing it all and talking about it is not a lot of fun."

Kerr and Jordan have never spoken about the incident since it occurred two decades ago.

"He called me later that day and apologized," Kerr said. "In a strange way, it was almost a necessary step in our relationship, in a weird way. And from then on, I think he understood me a lot better and vice versa. And we got along much better and competed together and I think he trusted me more. So it was actually sort of, in the end, it was all good. But we've never talked about it since. To be honest, I don't ever think about it, but I get asked about it because it's a unique [situation]."

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA

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Bulls Hire Pat Connelly, JJ Polk To Front Office Positions

May 6, 2020 8:43 PM

The Chicago Bulls have added Pat Connelly and JJ Polk to the team’s basketball operations department – Connelly as Vice President of Player Personnel and Polk as Assistant General Manager.

Connelly will primarily be responsible for the structure and processes of the scouting department, and Polk will primarily be responsible for strategic planning and salary cap management, in addition to being involved in all player personnel matters.

“Pat and JJ both bring valuable experience that will enhance our basketball operations department,” said Arturas Karnisovas. “I know that the skills these two possess will be an asset in building out our program. JJ’s expertise with cap management and negotiations will help us be creative in our deals and contracts, while Pat’s great eye for talent, global contacts and networking capabilities will organize our scouting department in a productive way. Combined, these two basketball minds will help increase functionality and implement our vision of moving this program forward.”

Connelly was most recently the Director of Pro Personnel with the Denver Nuggets, a position he held for one season in 2019-20. Prior to his time in Denver, Connelly spent five seasons with the Phoenix Suns as Assistant General Manager from 2013-18 and seven seasons with the Washington Wizards from 2006-13. He joined the Wizards as a part-time advance scout and worked his way to Director of Player Personnel, becoming one of the team’s top scouts for college and international play. Prior to his time in the NBA, Connelly was a graduate assistant for the men’s basketball team at Baylor University from 2004-06, where he also earned a master’s degree in speech communication. He earned his undergraduate degree in business from Mount St. Mary’s University in 2002. Connelly spent one season as an assistant coach on Nick Nurse’s staff for the Brighton Bears of the British Basketball League in the 2003-04 season, helping guide the team to the league title.

Polk joins the Bulls after spending 10 seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans, most recently as Executive Director of Basketball Administration. He was initially hired to the Pelicans as the Director of Player Contracts and Basketball Administration, working two seasons in that role from 2010-12. Before joining the NBA, Polk practiced law at Bryan Cave LLP for six years as an associate in the Real Estate and Banking Practice Group. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law. As an undergraduate at Rice University, Polk earned a political science and managerial studies degree. He played professional basketball in Sweden, Latvia and China from 1997-2000.

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Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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'The Last Dance' Is Most In-Demand Documentary In World, According To Research Firm

Lucas Shaw/Bloomberg

Marc Eversley To Continue To Evaluate Jim Boylen

Eric Woodyard/ESPN

Marc Eversley: Becoming An NBA GM Is A Dream Come True

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Adrian Griffin, Ime Udoka Seen As Possible Replacements For Jim Boylen

Darnell Mayberry/The Athletic

Toni Kukoc: I Wish Jerry Krause Was Here To Say His Part Of The Story

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Sixers VP Of Player Personnel Marc Eversley To Become New General Manager Of Bulls

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Milt Newton Emerges As Candidate For Bulls' GM Job

K.C. Johnson/NBC Sports

Michael Finley Interviews With Bulls For GM Job

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Arturas Karnisovas To Focus On Drafting, Player Development With Bulls

Sam Smith/NBA.com

Bulls Receive Permission To Interview Marc Eversley, Mark Hughes, Matt Lloyd For GM Job

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Bulls Retain John Paxson As Senior Advisor Of Basketball Operations

RealGM Staff Report

Bulls Hire Arturas Karnisovas As EVP Of Basketball Operations

RealGM Staff Report

Bulls Part Ways With Gar Forman

RealGM Staff Report

Troy Weaver Declined Bulls Interview Because He Felt It Was 'Token Offer'

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Bulls Target Calvin Booth, Marc Eversley, Mark Hughes, Matt Lloyd For Assistant GM

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Bulls Hire JJ Polk As Assistant General Manager

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Arturas Karnisovas Plans To Hire Person Of Color As Bulls General Manager

Vincent Goodwill/Yahoo! Sports

Jim Boylen Expects To Remain As Head Coach Of Bulls, Wants To Make Case To New Bosses

Joe Cowley/Chicago Sun-Times

Bulls To Hire Arturas Karnisovas As Vice President Of Basketball Operations

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Arturas Karnisovas Considered Strong Frontrunner For Bulls After Meeting With Jerry Reinsdorf

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN