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Reinsdorf talks with Mike North and Dan Jiggetts
by Sam Smith
Posted on Jan 30
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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.
Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf appeared Friday morning on “The Monsters in the Morning” show on Comcast SportsNet with Mike North and Dan Jiggetts and expressed strong disappointment about the 2008-09 Bulls season, but didn’t indicate that any major management changes are imminent. Reinsdorf didn’t talk about wholesale player changes, but pointed to the need for an interior presence, which he said will be addressed.
Reinsdorf expressed unwavering support for General Manager John Paxson and noted that rookie coach Vinny Del Negro has a three-year contract, which suggests he’ll have time to begin a turnaround. Reinsdorf also likened the Bulls situation to when he purchased the team with a group of investors in the 1984-85 season and the Bulls won 38 games but had a potential star to begin building around.
Here’s the transcript of the interview as supplied by Comcast SportsNet:
Mike North: “You have a coach that has a two-year deal… Going into next year, if you do keep Vinny Del Negro, would he [be] considered a lame duck coach?
Jerry Reinsdorf : “I think he’s signed for three years.”
Mike North: “Is one an option year?”
Jerry Reinsdorf: “I don’t think so. I don’t remember. I don’t think so.”
Mike North: “Where would you rate this season?”
Jerry Reinsdorf: “You want the grade up ’til today? What’s the lowest grade you can give? This has been a disaster. It’s embarrassing. But it will get better.”
Mike North: “With the same people?”
Jerry Reinsdorf: “Well, we’ll see. John Paxson is not going to let this situation continue.”
Dan Jiggetts: “How comfortable are you with John at the helm?”
Jerry Reinsdorf: “When you have a team that’s not performing it’s an organization failure. You win and you lose as an organization. But if there’s one person that is not responsible for what’s going on right now, it’s John Paxson. I have tremendous confidence in John Paxson. He’s really one of the best people that I know. He’s a great general manager and a great judge of talent. I just worry that he not be too hard on himself. He takes all of this=2 0very, very seriously.”
Mike North: “To say that he’s not at all responsible… he brought in the players. So are the players not being coached up?”
Jerry Reinsdorf: “I have a lot of thoughts about that but they’re not thoughts that I really can say publicly. All I know is what we have right now is not good and we have to get it better. They are playing hard in the last half-dozen or so games. We had some games where…”
Mike North: “You knew they were mailing it in.”
Jerry Reinsdorf: “They were mailing it in and I felt like standing up and booing along with everybody else. They’re not mailing it in anymore.”
Jerry Reinsdorf: “We have a great player in Derrick Rose. When I first got involved with the Bulls, we had one great player (Michael Jordan). When we won our first c hampionship, he was the only player left from the original team. We will build around Derrick Rose. Every player that’s added to this team will be a player who can feed off of him… This is not going to take changing 11 players. We do have some pretty good players on this club. Obviously what we lack is an inside presence. That’s the biggest thing we are missing and somehow we have to find it.”