More Notes, Details On Bulls’ Hiring Of Karnisovas

Once Arturas Karnisovas formally assumes control of the Bulls‘ front office, he intends to hire a person of color to be the team’s general manager, a league source tells Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Goodwill’s story comes on the heels of a Wednesday report which indicated that black executives around the NBA were upset that all five candidates known to have interviewed for the top Chicago job were white, including a couple who had made racially insensitive comments in the past.

According to Goodwill, the Bulls requested permission during their search process to speak to Thunder VP of basketball operations Troy Weaver, who is black, but were denied. Chicago also tried to interview Raptors GM Bobby Webster, a Japanese-American, but didn’t receive permission from Toronto.

As K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets, the Bulls did hold an informal interview with former Chicago center Nazr Mohammed, who has worked in Oklahoma City’s front office. That interview wasn’t for the team’s top front office job though.

Bulls COO Michael Reinsdorf has made a series of diverse hires in the Bulls’ business operations department in recent years, per Goodwill, who hears that the younger Reinsdorf has spoken both publicly and privately about the importance of having a diverse staff.

Here’s more on the Bulls’ hiring of Karnisovas and on the Nuggets, who will lose their general manager:

  • A source tells Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times that longtime executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson will continue to be a “sounding board” for the Reinsdorfs going forward, but will only weigh in on basketball decisions if asked by Karnisovas.
  • The Bulls’ front office search had its flaws, but the team ultimately landed on a very promising candidate in Karnisovas, opines Jon Greenberg of The Athletic.
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who previously worked with Karnisovas in Houston, praised the Bulls’ choice and told Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports (Twitter link via K.C. Johnson) that he’s happy to see the veteran exec get a shot to run a team. Arturas is one of the best executives in the NBA,” Morey said. “I’m so happy he is getting this opportunity. He was instrumental in our success. I’m also thrilled he’s in the East now!”
  • Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and team owner Josh Kroenke were “instrumental” in helping Karnisovas land the Chicago job, a source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post. In a separate story for The Post, Singer spoke to former NBA player Jared Jeffries, who worked with Karnisovas for four years in Denver’s front office and called the Bulls’ decision to hire him a “no-brainer.”
  • Karnisovas’ departure leaves the Nuggets with a hole in their basketball operations department, and Nick Kosmider of The Athletic suggests that assistant GM Calvin Booth may be a candidate for a promotion.
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14 thoughts on “More Notes, Details On Bulls’ Hiring Of Karnisovas

  1. richard dangler

    Great, hiring people based off the color of their skin rather than their merits. What could possibly go wrong.

  2. JBHoops

    On the POC GM front, I do think it is important that the front office has ethnic diversity not only because… you know, life… but also because players want to see that in an organization. In a league that is 75% black and 90%+ stars are black and the Bulls are trying to recruit stars in 2021, it’s important. Now, I’m not sure I side with criticism for the head of the front office search, though. There are like 6 or 8 black GMs from what I read. If I remember correctly, none of them are on current winning teams. I’m not going to interview an assistant GM for the top job if there are good candidates at the GM level. Pretty much period. One hopes that more winning teams hire and promote POC into the upper echelons of front office management. But I can’t blame the Bulls for not looking at candidates below GM level and not look at candidates in front offices that have current losing records.

  3. Please help me here and this is written with a genuine heart of love and compassion and Truth and I’m very sincere.

    Does the motion of stating that the Bulls will hire a person of color for their GM position help matters or not? I’m asking sincerely.

    Does an African American man celebrate that? Or does an African American man get upset that the table needs to be cleared and this is the only way someone of color has a chance to be hired? Seriously, this is a sincere question.

    If I was trying out for the college basketball team, which I did LOL, and tryouts for the last place on the team were closed two guys 6-4 and over, and only guys 6-3 and less could try out… Would I be happy about that unfair chance to make the team? I guess maybe, maybe I would.

    So talking this through I guess it could be a good thing. Until the situations improve in NBA management positions maybe this needs to be done? It’s not like my basketball tryout, that’s a little unrealistic, but perhaps this needs to be done. It’s probably true that many very qualified and skilled men are overlooked and this will help.

  4. This almost sounds like affirmative action. That was a totally screwed system and I think they did away with it. The reason it was screwed is because it forced the hand of those people with the responsibility of selecting the best candidates.

    The solution is to go back to the root of the problem, and that’s the heart of man.
    But knuckleheads that judge people based on how they look are entrenched in their belief. There’s no changing them. And that’s sad.

    So something needs to be done. Until someone can figure a way to remove the hate from the heart of man, this is probably the way to go, what the NBA and the Bulls are doing here.

  5. Last one. Sorry I’m writing a book !!

    I had the incredible privilege of touring United States for a year and the goal was to play Pick-up basketball in as many places as I could. I hit all four corners and many places in between. I’ve got a lot of great stories. San Diego, Seattle, Maine and Florida. Played ball in the cities and the hoods. Wonderful experiences without a doubt. Many amazing, fantastic, friendly, generous, caring ballers out there on the courts.

    Here’s my controversial statement. And we know there’s big time hate on all sides. There are way more white men in this country that hate black people than there are black men in this country who hate white people. Just my experience in life and playing ball in white neighborhoods, black neighborhoods, brown neighborhoods.

    Thank you for letting me share.

  6. coinman

    why anyone would want to work for this collection of morons really makes me wonder. why don’t they just show GarPax the door and be done with them?

  7. stevep-4

    Interesting that they talked to Nazr. He was a solid backup, never a star, but a smart player, and he’s a local Chicago guy. I wonder what role they talked about? He would likely be a good assistant coach (and just want to note that he indeed is a man of color).

  8. Skip, Tampa

    Bulls should go ahead and hire Nets Jeff Peterson for the GM spot and Kenny Atkinson as the HC.
    Can announce all 3 at press conference next week.
    Yes they are both from the Nets, so what.

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