Paxson the Bulls' Man
April 14, 2003 -- The Chicago Bulls today named John Paxson Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.
“When Jerry resigned I wanted a general manager who understands the game, our direction, our talent and our tradition,” said Bulls Chairman of the Board Jerry Reinsdorf. “I have for some time been convinced that John Paxson would someday make an exemplary NBA general manager. After my most recent conversations with him, I am convinced that today is that day; he is well equipped and ready.
“John was brought to the Bulls by Jerry Krause in 1985 for playmaking, shooting, and leadership. He provided all those things and became an important part of the Bulls’ championship tradition. We fully expect him to further develop and motivate the character and talent of our current young players so that they can experience that same tradition.
He will immediately begin evaluating the upcoming draft and free agent market to determine how to improve our team and our prospects for the 2003-04 season. We have a talented young team we all believe is improving and should soon be a playoff contender.”
“I am really excited to accept this challenge and look forward to working with the basketball operations staff,” said Paxson. “The Bulls organization has meant a lot to me over the years and getting the chance to help lead the team back to the upper echelon of the NBA is a true honor.”
Paxson becomes the sixth individual to head basketball operations in the history of the Chicago Bulls, joining Dick Klein (1966-69), Pat Williams (1969-73), Dick Motta (1973-76), Rod Thorn (1978-85) and Jerry Krause (1985-2002). The former Bulls guard has been part of the organization as a player, coach or broadcaster since 1985.
Paxson has spent the last seven seasons as a color analyst on both the Bulls Radio and TV networks, providing expert analysis to Bulls broadcasts. He spent one season (1995-96) as Assistant Coach, helping the Bulls to an NBA-record 72-10 record and the 1996 NBA World Championship.
A 6-2, 185-pound guard, Paxson spent nine of his 11 NBA seasons with the Bulls, averaging 7.2 points and 3.6 assists, shooting .499 from the floor and .804 from the free throw line. He helped the Bulls to three consecutive (1991, 1992, 1993) NBA World Championships, averaging 13.4 ppg and shooting a blistering .653 from the floor en route to the first title, a six-game victory over the L.A. Lakers.