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> Paxson not the problem?, Is it Reinsdorf?
bulls91
post May 14 2008, 03:03 PM
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By his own estimation, Jerry Reinsdorf is the world's only perfect human being. Never has he done anything wrong, even when his nose is growing and the neon sign across his forehead flashes "I SCREWED UP." The labor dispute that killed a World Series, the breakup of the Jordan Bulls, baseball's steroids era, threats to move the White Sox, the mediocre ballpark he built with public money -- noooo, don't blame him, even if he was a prime power player in each situation.

And when those of us who aren't in his back pocket go ahead and blame him anyway, Reinsdorf's tired reaction is to pinpoint a target and call that person a liar, a reneger, a piece of garbage or -- in the case of a fine, affable gentleman named Mike D'Antoni -- "rude."

If D'Antoni is rude, what exactly is Jerry Reinsdorf?

Obnoxious fool works for me.

Never mind that D'Antoni and his people sent signals for days that he wanted to coach the Bulls. Never mind that John Paxson, Reinsdorf's general manager, met with D'Antoni twice and concluded he wanted D'Antoni to coach the Bulls. Never mind that Chicago folks who know basketball understood D'Antoni's fun quotient and playoff pedigree and hoped he would come and make something of a boring, irrelevant franchise. The fact remains that Reinsdorf met with Paxson a week ago Tuesday and didn't find time to meet with D'Antoni until Friday afternoon, though they live only about 200 yards and a few rock gardens apart in Arizona. That means three entire days passed for the New York Knicks to swoop in, eventually make a $24 million offer over four years and woo D'Antoni with the love and big-city thinking he needed to hear.

In other words, Reinsdorf once again was a slow, sluggish, dilly-dallying leader lacking the ability to cut a deal -- just as he failed to acquire Pau Gasol or Kevin Garnett over the last 10 months, just as he failed to deliver Tracy McGrady and Tim Duncan after the broken dynasty, just as he let the Jerry Krause-Phil Jackson strife turn ugly -- largely because he never satisfied Jackson monetarily -- and chased away Michael Jordan before he was done playing. Am I not correct that Reinsdorf is the chairman of the Bulls? If he's going to pose in the media guide with six NBA title trophies -- hardware that had everything to do with Jordan and little to do with him -- the least he can do is accept responsibility when the franchise turns sour. Since telling us that he couldn't wait to reconstruct his own dynasty, since saying he never wanted the Bulls to sink as low as the Boston Celtics did after their '80s glory years, guess what happened?

The Bulls have become the Boston Celtics after their '80s glory years, winning exactly one playoff series in 10 seasons while employing four head coaches and losing 511 of 810 games. The brainwashed, bought-off media sheep who think Reinsdorf is a good owner need to explain something: How does a good owner let the greatest single resource in American sports history -- Jordan -- get away from the franchise and lose all momentum from that powerful experience? In truth, Reinsdorf will go down as one of the all-time flops because he said he could build a dynasty and instead produced a travesty.

For many fans, the D'Antoni debacle is the last straw. Despite the low spark of spinmasters dependent on Reinsdorf for employment -- on the local Comcast SportsNet outlet, controlled by Reinsdorf, talk puppet David Kaplan shamelessly referred to D'Antoni as "disingenous" -- fans want to know how a franchise that targets a coach swung and missed so badly. Follow me, people, keeping in mind that Paxson loved D'Antoni and now must wonder if he's being Jerry-rigged.

Where was Reinsdorf during the recruitment period? While new Knicks boss Donnie Walsh was wining and dining D'Antoni, Reinsdorf was, in part, tending to Ozzie Guillen's Flying Circus -- an F-bomb-loaded rip job on fans and media, a blowup-dolls clubhouse flap, the usual junk. If he didn't employ a high-maintenance baseball manager and if he'd prioritized D'Antoni last week when everyone knew the Phoenix Suns coach was a hot item, my guess is he would have been introduced Tuesday at the United Center and not Madison Square Garden. Basically, Jerry dawdled and lost. He was outhustled, outworked and outstrategized by Walsh.

Another major Reinsdorf flaw: He refuses to talk to the agents of coaches. This is reminiscient of a destructive issue during the in-house dysfunction of the '90s, when Reinsdorf wouldn't give a well-deserved blockbuster deal to Jackson. If I'm D'Antoni, why would I deal with Reinsdorf when he won't deal with my agent?

And if I'm a major free agent, why would I ever sign with Chicago?

It leads me to a conclusion I've reached before: Reinsdorf should sell the Bulls to someone who cares about basketball. If there was any justice, he'd sell the franchise to Jordan, who hasn't been around much because, incredibly, there never was an agreement to give him even a small piece of ownership. But I'm not holding my breath. Now listed with Robert Judelson and Sanford Takiff among the club's alternate NBA governors is a new name.

Michael Reinsdorf, son of Jerry.

Keeping it in the family doesn't work for me. There's just too much spinning and politicking. When Jerry's dawdling was ripped in several quarters, including by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, he did what he always does: He went into his bunker and spun. He talked to his writer friend Sam Smith, now with the Sporting News, and talked to the Reinsdorf-friendly sports staff at the Chicago Tribune, which, of course, is owned by a company that has business relationships with Reinsdorf. The Trib story featured the quote that D'Antoni was "rude," along with a Reinsdorf assertion that D'Antoni "misled" the Bulls by claiming he really didn't want to coach the Knicks. Then Reinsdorf listed exact dates of times of meetings and phone calls involving D'Antoni.

We don't care, Jerry. All we care about is that you blew it.

Again.

Asked by the Sporting News if he told Reinsdorf that he didn't want to coach the Knicks, D'Antoni first denied it, then played peacemaker. "I don't remember saying that," he said. "Maybe. Who knows? We talked a long time. He told me this could take a while. I said I was not in a hurry. But that night I decided, 'This is where I want to go and I don't want to use anybody.' Jerry was feeling me out a little. He was trying to get convinced."

No, he dawdled.

The episode reminds me of the time Reinsdorf offered Horace Grant a new deal, only to lose out when the veteran forward signed with the Orlando Magic. Huffing and puffing, Reinsdorf called a quick press conference, accused Grant of reneging on a handshake and added that he took games off with the "blue flu." That's the Jerry Way. When spurned, attack someone's integrity, even if you thought highly of the same person just the day before.

So now who? Tom Thibodeau, the Boston assistant who might not be available until late June? Brian Shaw, Kurt Rambis? Michael Curry? Eddy Curry? Seems the Bulls are dead meat in this town, thanks to their no-can-do owner.

If anyone is being rude, it's him.


Maybe all along it was Reinsdorf fault that all of the things that we have blamed Paxson. And it was really out of his control? What are your opinions?
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Steve9347
post May 14 2008, 03:17 PM
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I don't even have to go to suntimes.com to know that that article is Mariotti's. Though Reinsdorf has hurt, Mariotti has loathed him for years, so anything he writes on the subject should be taken with a grain of salt.

I must ask what other owner in this town ever had 7 rings?

However, with all that said, I want an owner who's dedicated to winning no matter the cost, just as we Bulls fans sell out the UC every year despite the costs going up.
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Chicago Bulls Fr...
post May 14 2008, 07:49 PM
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I think its a mixture of both, with Reinsdorf getting most of the blame IMO. He didn't even want to pay Jordan when he was here, and he was the best ever, if that doesn't tell you something I don't know what does. He needs to go back to being just a sox owner, and I don't even know that Sox fans would want him with how things have been ever since their World Series win.
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ZoomSlowik
post May 14 2008, 08:59 PM
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QUOTE (Chicago Bulls Franchise @ May 14 2008, 08:58 PM) *
I think its a mixture of both, with Reinsdorf getting most of the blame IMO. He didn't even want to pay Jordan when he was here, and he was the best ever, if that doesn't tell you something I don't know what does. He needs to go back to being just a sox owner, and I don't even know that Sox fans would want him with how things have been ever since their World Series win.


Actually, as a Sox fan I can't complain about Reinsdorf of late. Their payroll has always been pretty respectable since I've been a fan, and it's gone through the roof since 2005. I NEVER thought I'd see their payroll up around $120 mil, and yet they've been in that neighborhood for 3 years now. Yeah, the whole strike in 94 pissed me off, but of late I've been more aggravated with the total lack of contact hitting on the roster. Yes, some of that was sort of by design with Swisher, Thome and Uribe, but even the guys that are supposed to hit for a decent average have kinda sucked the last two years.
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eddog2
post May 15 2008, 06:23 PM
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QUOTE (ZoomSlowik @ May 14 2008, 10:08 PM) *
Actually, as a Sox fan I can't complain about Reinsdorf of late. Their payroll has always been pretty respectable since I've been a fan, and it's gone through the roof since 2005. I NEVER thought I'd see their payroll up around $120 mil, and yet they've been in that neighborhood for 3 years now. Yeah, the whole strike in 94 pissed me off, but of late I've been more aggravated with the total lack of contact hitting on the roster. Yes, some of that was sort of by design with Swisher, Thome and Uribe, but even the guys that are supposed to hit for a decent average have kinda sucked the last two years.


Yeah he's saving money with the Bulls to support his love the Sox. I'm a Sox fan too so I don't mind the high salary there but there's no reason any Chicago franchise can't spend big money.
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