So the Chicago Bulls decided not to bring back Ron Adams. It was a move that seemed surprising, but assistants sometimes leave, and most fans probably wouldn't have thought too much of it one way or the other until it was noted the move was made against Tom Thibodeau's will.
Apparently, Adams had been complaining about personnel decisions too loudly and was let go. It seems rather odd given that the Bulls have had pretty good personnel recently, but you can understand why an insubordinate employee might get fired, particularly an assistant.
Then the plot thickens. Adrian Wojnarowski tweets that Thibodeau and Forman easily have the worst relationship between coach and GM in the NBA. Word comes out that Thibodeau taking his time signing his contract wasn't necessarily due to minor lawyer squabbles but was simply a shot across the bow at management.
GarPax are pissed about the minutes Thibs plays the veteran players who keep getting hurt while Thibodeau wants more say in personnel decisions. Oy.
At the press conference to announce the new players, reporters were asked not to discuss the Adams firing and to only discuss the rookies as to not spoil their moment. When that conference ended, Forman came back out alone to discuss Adams preaching a "unite and move forward" mantra while the guy he was uniting with was getting the hell out of dodge.
Forman's choice of words showed that the fracture certainly existed, you don't unite something that isn't broken.
On top of all the Forman/Thibodeau drama, Ron Adams was apparently Derrick Rose's guy too, and Rose is also none to happy about the move either prompting the thought that perhaps Adams was one of the guys sowing roster discontent with Rose or that his firing was also related the Bulls taking a shot at Rose for not coming back last season.
Now Bulls fans probably have a somewhat unique position on these type of issues. We've lived through six NBA titles with a coaching staff and star player that absolutely loathed management. It makes it a bit easier to swallow the present situation than another fan base might be willing to do. That said, we'll also always wonder if the failure to get along short changed us a couple of rings.
So what to make of this whole mess?
First, if Adams was simply a sacrificial lamb who didn't really do anything then this is a big mistake. I have no idea how insubordinate Adams was being with his commentary, but I certainly hope it was extreme. If Adams was fired just so Garpax could exercise control over Thibodeau and show their power then we're simply missing one of the leagues best assistants for no useful reason now, and that's not helping anyone.
This is doubly true since Adams was close to Rose. The three most important people in this organization right now might be Rose, Noah, and Thibodeau. If you've single handedly pissed off two of those people with this move, you'd better have a damn good reason for it. A reason which really wasn't elaborated on and likely won't be elaborated on further.
If Thibodeau and Adams were pissed about the personnel (and Rose for that matter given the news with his brother so long ago) then I know some fans will say "hell yeah, they should be" to which I'd respond, are you out of your mind? This isn't exactly Kevin Garnett widdling away his prime years on 40 win teams here.
The Bulls probably don't have enough to beat Miami, they really could use another go to scorer, and if you can't understand why solving either of those challenges is mission impossible for management, then there's no point really having the discussion. Some problems don't have practical solutions, but the Bulls have fielded a pretty good group the past few years, and when they had to cut the whole bench mob due to costs came right back with another decent set of players.
They're one quality big man away from having one of the deepest teams in the NBA again this season as well. They may not be the best, but there are probably 25 teams looking up at them. That doesn't mean management should sit back on their laurels and do high fives for being an ECF threat team, but it does mean that they haven't completely jacked things up like people often seem to think.
Where does this go from here?
Probably no where good. The theory is that Thibodeau and Forman may not work together for too long. Ownership is historically insanely loyal towards management while Thibs has got a four year guaranteed contract on the table. Should be interesting to see how it all shakes out.