For the first time in years, Bulls fans can feel hope about their team. All the #fireGarPax tweets, billboards, and chants seemed to have worked; the Chicago Bulls are hiring a new person to make basketball decisions. As always, the news was brought to us by Woj.
According to Woj, Karnisovas will replace John Paxson, who has been running the Bulls' basketball operations since 2003. Karnisovas will be tasked with reshaping the totality of the Bulls, including hiring a new general manager and additional basketball operations and scouting positions. Karnisovas is one of the main people responsible for drafting Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkić in Denver. Not unfortunate to have on your CV when interviewing for a rebuilding team.
But, even when they hire a competent person, the Bulls have to mess it up a bit. In a league that's 75% African-American, all reported candidates have been white men. The association's been preaching diversity for years, but it seems the Reinsdorfs haven't been listening. It's not like there are no African-American candidates for the job - there are 11 assistant GM's waiting for the opportunity. Not to mention other qualified candidates.
“That is a slap in the face. Their worst is still being considered over our best. The league is going to have to do something. It does get frustrating.”
anonymous African-American executive, via The Undefeated
We can't know for sure, but "their worst" probably refers to former NBA general managers Bryan Colangelo, Danny Ferry, and Wes Wilcox. When a guy who was fired for having fake twitter accounts gets an interview, and you don't, people tend to get annoyed. No-one is saying the Bulls had to have hired a person that comes from a minority. The fact they didn't interview any is disproportionate to the pool of candidates available and shows there's still a bias against minorities getting leading decision-making positions.
“It’s an embarrassment that the Bulls elected not to interview a minority candidate in their search for a new head of basketball operations. You will never know what you have or could have hired unless you sit down with them and have a face-to-face conversation.”
Bobby Marks, via The Undefeated
If the Reinsdorfs let Karnisovas do his job, Bulls fans should feel optimistic about the team's future. The league, on the other hand, still has a lot of work to do educating certain owners about the 21st century.