News that Marc Eversley would be the Bulls‘ next general manager broke very late on Sunday, at a time when the NBA news wire is typically quiet. Speaking today to reporters, including ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas provided an explanation, saying he felt compelled to call Eversley on Sunday night after watching the third and fourth episodes of The Last Dance.
“I was so emotional watching it that I was thinking, ‘Why do I have to wait until Monday? Let me check if he’s up,'” Karnisovas said.
In explaining why he chose Eversley for the job, Karnisovas pointed to the veteran executive’s relationships with players and coaches, as Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Although Eversley has spent the last 14 years in NBA front offices, he began building those relationships during his decade at Nike before that, a fact he acknowledged during today’s call.
“Simply put, (the Nike background) was critical,” Eversley said, per Cowley. “Relationships move the needle in this business, and it really starts at the grassroots. I was fortunate enough to work at Nike at a time when LeBron James and players like that were coming up through the system. It really taught me the value of relationships. It taught me the value of a brand, really.
“It’s my hope that I can take some of the lessons that I’ve learned at Nike and implement them here with Chicago as a goal to get the Chicago Bulls back to relevancy and get that brand back to where it’s cool again and kids want to be part of it.”
Here’s more on the Bulls:
- One of the first major decisions Eversley and Karnisovas will make will involve the head coaching position, but it doesn’t sound like they’re in a rush to make a call on Jim Boylen. Eversley, who said Boylen called him to congratulate him earlier in the week, told reporters today that he and Karnisovas would assess the head coach and other staffers together, per Woodyard. “We owe it to everybody on staff to get to Chicago and meet them face-to-face,” Eversley said. “I think we owe it to our players to hopefully get to evaluate them in practice settings, in playing settings and we owe it to our staff to see them in those types of setting as well. I just think it’s far too early to make any of those types of decisions with respect to anybody on the staff until we get to Chicago.”
- Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times stressed again this week that sources close to Boylen “paint the picture of someone who fully expects to be back next season.” However, Cowley also reiterated that there has been plenty of speculation linking the Bulls to Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, who played college ball with Karnisovas at Seton Hall. A source told The Sun-Times that Everseley, a Canadian and former Toronto executive, remains on good terms with the Raptors.
- In his own look at the coaching situation in Chicago, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic reports that “minor changes” are underway with the current staff, though Boylen continues to operate as if he’ll be back. Griffin and Sixers assistant Ime Udoka could be candidates for the head coaching job if the Bulls do make a change, according to Mayberry.