Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas introduced new General Manager Marc Eversley to the media via conference call on Friday.
Arturas Karnosovas didn't clarify Friday whether it was Dennis Rodman's emergency escape to Las Vegas, Michael Jordan's defiance in the face of the Detroit Pistons' disturbances or Phil Jackson's calm in chaos. But the new Bulls Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations said he was so inspired and moved by the path of those championship Bulls featured in the Last Dance documentary, he was energized to move quickly and hire Marc Eversley as the Bulls new General Manager.
Eversley, a Canadian who most recently was a Philadelphia 76ers executive, joins Karnisovas in a new front office that includes former New Orleans Pelicans executives J.J. Polk and Pat Connelly from the Denver Nuggets. The quartet will team with several Bulls front office holdovers led by Karnisovas in a new Bulls management structure. Karnisovas reports to Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
"After a long process of a series of interviews and background calls, we settled on Marc," Karnisovas said on a media conference call Friday as he and his staff still have not been able to come to Chicago because of the virus. "Michael and then J.J. Polk and Pat Connelly got the chance to interview him as well. After I hung up with Michael and agreeing I would call (Eversley) on Monday morning, I was watching The Last Dance (Episodes 3 and 4). I was so emotional watching it I was thinking, ‘Why do I have to wait until Monday? Let me check if he's up.' So he responds that he did not get a chance to watch it live, and now they're replaying it again on ESPN. So he's on his couch watching. It's late, it's around 1 a.m. Eastern time. I'm doing the same. But now I'm calling him to offer him the job while The Last Dance is in the background. I thought it was a great moment for me, for Marc, for the organization, when we agreed on a deal to make him the general manager for the Chicago Bulls while watching that documentary."
Next step: the seventh championship?
If only. And so the new path begins, albeit slowly because of the worldwide health emergency, for the Bulls new management team. And while the Friday session was devoted to the introduction of Eversley, Karnisovas added some comments about his plans. Karnisovas, particularly because of the unusual situation, the uncertainty about the rest of the season and the inability to contact players in person, was advising patience.
"I'm excited about the young core that is in place here," Karnisovas said. "I'm not in a rush to make changes or any opinions on certain players. I look forward to giving the players an opportunity to show what they can do. I've had numerous conversations with players and Zoom calls. So it's going to take a while until we get to some level of normalcy. I do not know what that looks like yet. So I will not be able to fully assess the current situation as it is."
Karnisovas added some points about coach Jim Boylen, the figurative face of the franchise and the NBA's plans.
"My initial impression of Jim is he cares a great deal about this team and he's as anxious as everyone else to get back in the gym. My first priority was to hire Marc, J.J. Polk and Pat Connelly in order to implement my vision, our vision, to create a sustainable program that can be good for a very long time. How do you do that? First, we're changing some of the scouting practices and how we look at evaluating players. Second, we are focused on the player development department and putting a plan in place to implement needed adjustments. I have not been in the building yet, so I'm looking forward to that. Going back to coaching, we've had a chance to meet a couple times over Zoom, but it's not only been two weeks. I'm going to do my comprehensive evaluation of every department and ensure I give the process the time it deserves. We are limited right now with what we can do. Instead of being in the practice facility and being in Chicago, we're at home doing video and audio calls like this one. It makes it difficult. So until we get to some level of normalcy, and I don't know what that looks like, we will not be able to fully access the current situation.
"Both of us will deal with (media). A lot of ideas come from the way we're going to structure internal processes. The luxury that we have with our current hires is that we're coming from a lot of different programs. We can take the best scouting practices and how we look at evaluating players, how we're looking at player development. We're coming from a lot of different teams, so that's a luxury I think to bring the best practices in place so we can implement that and we can build that. I think we're going to share our responsibilities. We're going to hear each other out and make a decision at the end of the day. In terms of dealing with media it's going to be a lot of times me, a lot of times him. I think we're going to share that responsibility.
"We're waiting for a lot of direction from the league in case the local government lifts the stay-at-home policy. Are we going to be ready to do it? Are we going to come up with a process to open our facilities? Everything is going to look like it's only going to be voluntarily until the league will come out with additional information on how we're moving forward. It's a fluid situation. In case we will be able to do it, we will be ready in our facilities because we do believe that our practice facility is the safest environment for our players."