August 13, 2012
Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf was a guest on ESPN 1000′s “Talking Baseball” on Saturday.
Naturally, he had a few things to say about the team:
On Derrick Rose’s recovery:
“I’m not going to let him back until the doctors tell me that it’s absolutely safe for him to come back. I made that mistake with Michael Jordan years ago where I think we let him come back too soon. It worked out OK, but it might not have. This time I’m not going to make that mistake. Until the doctors say he’s 100 percent and they put their reputations on the line, he’s not coming back.
“The doctors told us that it would be eight to 12 months from the time of the surgery. Surgery was the middle of May. That means the earliest possible time he’ll be back would be the middle of January. If it’s 12 months, then he’ll miss the whole season. We just don’t know. The reports are very good. They say he’s ahead of schedule. He’s doing all the rehabbing he’s got to do. We’ll see. In the meantime, I think we’re going to have a pretty decent club.”
My take: When Michael Jordan was rehabbing from a broken foot back in 1986, Reinsdorf wanted to protect his investment. Jordan wanted to play. This led to a pretty public feud. In the end, MJ returned to action sooner than Reinsdorf wanted, and that has apparently always bugged Reinsdorf. It seems he wants to take more control in Rose’s case. So no matter how well Rose’s rehab is going, Bulls fans shouldn’t bother hoping for an early return. If anything, it’s more likely he’ll return later than the most optimistic predictions.
On rebuilding the bench:
“(General manager) Gar Forman has done a great job of turning over the bench. We lost most of our so-called ‘Bench Mob.’ But if you look at the numbers, the bench actually has the potential to be more productive than the old guys.
“We still have Joakim (Noah) and Luol (Deng) and Taj (Gibson) and Carlos (Boozer). I think we’re going to be a pretty decent team without Derrick. Will we win a championship? I doubt that very seriously, but if we can hang in there and get to the playoffs and if Derrick comes back, who knows? We might be there at the end.”
My take: I take exception to the word “lost” considering the players in question were either traded away or allowed to walk. Okay, not matching Omer Asik’s $25 million offer sheet with the Rockets was the right move, but discarding C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer (who accepted minimum contracts to play elsewhere) seemed a little rough.
I also don’t like the way he referred to the Bench Mob as “so-called.” It just feels…demeaning somehow. The contributions from those reserves were a big reason the Bulls were able to compile the league’s best record two seasons in a row. Perhaps Reinsdorf is feeling a bit defiant about all the criticism he’s taken for not putting a higher value on what those guys did for the team (and, indeed, many bloggers and experts have repeatedly used the term “cheap” when describing Reinsdorf’s stewardship of the Bulls).
As for “the numbers,” this isn’t the first I’ve heard about how the team used various advanced metrics to select “efficient and cost effective” alternatives to the bench players who are now gone. That’s all good and well. But we’ll see if they new guys fit, and whether they can match the chemistry and enthusiasm of the old Bench Mob.
March 10, 2011
Michael Jordan thinks Derrick Rose is the “MVP of the season.”
Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf believes that, as long as they stay healthy, these Bulls could win “at least four championships.”
Members of the Celtics got to spend time with Barack Obama on Tuesday night before a fundraiser at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the President wanted to talk about the Bulls. Specifically, Obama thanked the Celtics for “giving” coach Tom Thibodeau to the Bulls.
Talk about buzz.
With all that serving as a backdrop, the Bulls blew out the Bobcats in Charlotte, winning for the 11th time in 13 games, moving to within 1.5 games of the Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference, and clinching their sixth playoff berth in the last seven seasons.
Of course, no “dream come true” moment is complete without a sobering dose of reality. In this case, the reality check was delivered in the form of a flagrant foul by Kwame Brown that put Carlos Boozer on the ground and injured the big man’s ankle in the process.
The incident occurred with 4:24 left in the game and the Bulls leading 92-75. Considering the circumstances — Chicago was in full control and Taj Gibson (14 points, 6-for-7) was playing better than Boozer (10 points, 4-for-9) anyway — you have to wonder why Carlos was still in the game at all. But then again, Thibodeau has had a habit this season of leaving his starters in the game longer than absolutely necessary.
I’m not blaming Thibs. Not exactly. But Rose was sitting at the time. Why not Booz?
Oh well. No use crying over milk that’s already been spilled. Which means we have to move on to the more important subject: The extent of Boozer’s injury.
It sure looked bad, didn’t it? Boozer walked to the bench under his own power. But he declined to shoot his free throws — Kyle Korver knocked them down in his place — and limped gingerly to the locker room before play could resume. His night was over. And his season could be on hold for…nobody knows how long.
Said Thibodeau: ‘‘The X-rays were negative. It’s too early. We’ll just have to wait and see tomorrow what type of swelling he has. It’s his left ankle. He came down pretty hard. I’m hoping it’s just his ankle.’’
Well, that tells us a fat lot of nothing.
Said Joakim Noah (12 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks): ”[Boozer] said it hurts but it’s not too bad or broken or anything. Carlos brings a lot because of what he can do offensively. But we’re confident and capable. Taj is a helluva player. He’s someone you can rely on to step up and play physical and tough.”
Added Rose (20 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals): “It’s going to hurt us [if Boozer is out], but we still have to go out there and play the game. It’s going to take a lot more energy, a lot more focus going into games. And people are going to have to step up. If it happens, Taj did a great job when Carlos was out before. People are going to have to play big minutes. I think our team should be fine, but I hope he plays the next game.”
I hope so, too. But I also hope Taj is ready. Just in case.
Said Gibson: ”I’ve been in this role many times the last two years. I have to get my mind right if it does happen, and just play my game, play with a lot of energy, and just try to hold it down while he’s down.”
As for the game, this was one of those “take care of business” wins. The Bobcats were without leading scorer Stephen Jackson (hamstring), sixth man Tyrus Thomas (knee surgery), backup center Joel Przybilla (knee) and reserve guard Matt Carroll (ankle). Charlotte shot lights out in the first half, but Chicago held them to 35 points in the second half to win going away.
Ultimately, the Bulls wore the Bobcats down with their defense and depth. Speaking of which, the reserves poured in 51 points, led by Kyle Korver (20 points on 7-for-10 shooting), Gibson (who, again, scored 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting) and Ronnie Brewer (10 points on 4-for-8 shooting).
Said Thibodeau: ”We needed them. The first half, offensively we were good, defensively we were poor, very poor. The second half, the defense started coming around, and the bench was great. Carlos got in the early foul trouble, so that hurt us, but Taj came in, did a great job. Ronnie was playing really well, and, of course, Kyle, so they did a great job and C.J. was running the team well.”
The bench has been great this season. It really has. And it’ll have to be even better if Boozer has to miss many games. Okay, “have to be” may be overstating things. But the Bulls are trying to hold onto the second seed in the East while setting sights on the first seed. So, assuming the expectations remain high, the reserves will have to help carry the team through this crucial late-season stretch.
Jerry Reinsdorf, quote machine:
“If you don’t see something special in Derrick Rose, then you’re blind. We have an outstanding coach, an outstanding bunch of players, the team is deep, and if we stay healthy we have an awfully good chance of winning at least four championships.”
Michael Jordan, quote machine:
“[Rose] deserves [the MVP]. He’s playing that well. He deserves it. Without a doubt. And if he doesn’t get it, now he’ll see how I felt a lot of years.”
Recap, Box Score, Play-By-Play, Shot Chart, Photos.
July 21, 2009
Brian Hanley of the Chicago Sun-Times had an interesting and rather revealing little Q&A with Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. (And the interview continues here.) I highly suggest reading the whole thing, but here are a few quick hits:
Ben Gordon no longer fit in with the Bulls:“Now, fast forward to the end of [last season], we have [John] Salmons and we have a hell of a three-guard rotation with [Kirk] Hinrich and Derrick [Rose]. Ben wasn’t going to get a whole lot of playing time. [It] was going to be diminished. So Ben really no longer fit. Ben’s a terrific player. But Ben needs minutes. He would not have been happy with the minutes he was going to get.”
Signing Ben Wallace back in 2006 was a oopsie:“But the only way you can avoid making a mistake is not to make a decision. Even Jerry West has made mistakes, and he’s probably the best in the business. Even [Red] Auerbach made mistakes. Was Ben Wallace a mistake? Probably. Because what we didn’t think about is Ben needs to play alongside somebody who can score a lot of points. But I don’t think it’s about Ben Wallace that makes us be careful. It’s the thought that when you make a mistake, you own that mistake. So we’ve got to be careful.”
The Bulls did not want Pau Gasol:“Gasol, we didn’t move slowly, we said, ‘No.’ We were prepared to give [Memphis] players. What they wanted to do was to basically dump stuff on us and we’d be immobilized; we wouldn’t have been able to improve our team. Gasol made sense for the Lakers because he is their third-best player, probably. He would have been, at that time, our best player. It would have been a wrong role for him. John and Gar decided they didn’t want Gasol under those circumstances, where he would have been the last piece and we would have been immobilized because of the [salary] cap.”
He planned to win the draft lottery last year…seriously:“But I knew right along we were going to get Derrick. John [Paxson] can tell you. John said several months before the draft, ‘We really need a point guard.’ I said: ‘We’ll win the lottery and take Derrick Rose.’ Honest to God, I said that. I was acting silly, and it worked out.”
He’s not a miserly old cheapskate…seriously: ”I don’t mind [paying] the tax if it’s an intelligent expenditure. I don’t care what the tax would be; if we had a guy who was going to put us over the top and put us in the Finals, I’d pay the tax. I wouldn’t hesitate.”
May 26, 2009
From ESPNChicago.com: “[Gordon] was prepared to sign last year at the end, but after he turned down our offer, we thought about it and thought about it and decided it was in our best interest just to go one year with Ben,” Reinsdorf said. “We informed him of that, at which time his agent came back and said, ‘We’ll take your prior offer.’ We said it was too late. It’s off the table. We’ll have decisions to make at the draft. It depends on who we take, whether we trade our picks or we trade other players. Where we’re going with Ben can’t be decided until after July 1.”
That’s not quite the “re-signing Gordon is a priority” message that Gar Forman delievered last week. It’s more of a “wait and see” statement, which seems reasonable. In case you forgot, that offer from last year that Reinsdorf alluded to was worth $58 million over six years.
February 2, 2009
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “The silly speculation about Del Negro getting fired this season, possibly by the beginning of the All-Star break Feb. 13, overlooks three crucial factors: •He’s in the first season of a three-year deal, and Reinsdorf already is paying Scott Skiles not to work for him. •Reinsdorf played a role in Del Negro’s hiring after general manager John Paxson first signed off on Mike D’Antoni and Doug Collins. •Little about Del Negro’s learning curve in his first season coaching at any level surprises anybody in Bulls management.”
Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald: “The coaches didn’t click right away and that might be understandable. Del Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff had volumes of experience on their resumes, but Harris was used to working with a championship contender in Dallas. His intricate offense was no match for a rookie point guard and big men who were already struggling to pass NBA 101. Bickerstaff hadn’t been an assistant in more than 20 years and no one could be certain what Del Negro needed to know in order to do his job well. After a promising start to the season, the Bulls hit a deep slump. They seemed to have no concept of team defense, something that should have been established during training camp. Give the coaches credit for realizing that their methods weren’t working.”
Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times: “Get the hint, Vinny Del Negro. Reinsdorf’s finger was pointing straight at the Bulls’ head coach. If your boss said your co-worker was great but didn’t want to say anything about you, well, you would know what that means. But Saturday, Reinsdorf tried to squirm out of it, following up his vague finger-pointing with more vagueness. Someone asked him if his TV interview Friday was meant as a shot at Del Negro. ‘How many coaches do we have?’ he said. Uh, one? ‘No, we don’t.’ Let me get this straight: The Bulls are a disaster, and it’s the fault of the assistant coaches? Have you ever heard of an owner blaming assistant coaches?”
Brian Hanley of the Chicago Sun-Times: “Only 1½ games and two teams separate the Bulls from the eighth playoff spot in the East. But they’re keeping their recent success in perspective, particularly since it coincided with team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf condemning the season Friday as a ‘disaster’ and ‘embarrassing.’ ‘We’re not getting carried away we won three in a row,’ captain Kirk Hinrich said. ‘But we’re playing better together as a team. We’re trying to do the right things out there, and it’s paying off. Even during that [five-game] losing streak, we had some tough luck. We got bogged down late in games.’”
More K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “The Bulls already had a planned day off Sunday, but the move proved fortuitous timing for rookie guard Derrick Rose. He was agonizing over asking out of a game for the first time in his career, so one can imagine how Rose would have felt to miss a practice with a slight sprain on the top of his left foot. Instead, Rose enjoyed a day of rest and treatment after a team spokesman said Rose didn’t even undergo tests. ‘They said it’s really not that serious,’ Rose said. ‘I should be fine with extra treatment.’”