Chicago Bulls look to reinvigorate franchise with new leadership hire

Paul Mata

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Chicago Bulls look to reinvigorate franchise with new leadership hire


The franchise that has been stuck in a rebuilding process hopes to finally turn things around this time


CHARLOTTE, USA – The Chicago Bulls didn’t waste time making changes to its organization while the NBA season is in waiting mode. 

They introduced Arturas Karnisovas as its new head of basketball operations hoping to set the franchise in a much better place in the next 10 to 15 years. 

The franchise has been stuck in a rebuilding process that was going nowhere. It was on track to miss the playoffs again for the third straight year, having garnered only 22 wins and 43 losses at the break.

“Our ultimate goal is clearly to bring an NBA championship to the city of Chicago. That is what every NBA team strives for,” said Karnisovas. “All we can control is our approach and the process behind every decision.”

“A firm foundation is absolutely vital. I’ll build that here in Chicago. No skipping steps,” he said during a recent media conference call. 

“There’s a systematic approach to success that will be the product of focused and intentional hard work and diligence.”


 NEW LEADER. Former Olympian and new Bulls basketball chief Arturas Karnisovas (right) tries to bring his winning touch in Chicago. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/AFP


In his letter to the Bulls fans, Karnisovas was excited to share, that as a kid from Lithuania, he grew up watching the team in the ‘90s. He equated Bulls basketball to American basketball and the NBA.

He also recalled the time when he was studying in Seton Hall. “We lived in New Jersey and our friends from Chicago would come up and we would imitate like kids running out of the garage complete with the music of player introductions,” he shared. 

“I have a long history of passion for this team and the organization. Obviously, now to be part of things, to put an impact on building this team is a great opportunity for me.”

Karnisovas was the general manager of the Denver Nuggets for the past 7 years. He has helped the organization improved its standings with its build-up of draft picks that included Michael Porter Jr, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray. He has also seen center Nikola Jokic develop to become an All-Star.

“We created a sustainable program that is going to be very successful for a very long time,” he said of the Nugget’s ascent in the league. 

“I’m proud of the fact that for the fifth season in a row that we were going to improve our winning percentage, going from 33 to 40 to 46 to 54 wins. Who knows what was going to happen this year.”

In limbo

The 48-year-old former player, who led Lithuania to Olympic bronze medals in 1992 and 1996, acknowledges that he would be having a rough start to his Bulls tenure with everything in limbo right now with the league shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He’s still staying at home in Colorado, but he has already started communicating with players and coaching staff of his new team.

“My professional philosophies are about knowing players, constant communication, roster balance and deal-making creativity,” said Karnisovas. 

“It’s a team sport. As a leader, I have to understand individual roles and commit to the executions of those responsibilities. When I come in, I’m going to have time to evaluate the current structure and where are the blind spots,” he said.

Karnisovas knows that the Bulls already have the young talent that was built through the draft and trades that includes Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, Wendell Carter Jr, Coby White and Zach LaVine.

“One of my primary goals is to establish player development. We are the second youngest team in the league. Great young core. The Bulls drafted well,” sais Karnisovas.

“Players want to play, but at the end of the day, they want to win. My job is going to be able to facilitate that,” he added. 

“It was a huge thing for us in Denver, and it’s going to be huge here in Chicago. We’re going to have to improve our players.” – 

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