This morning, Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf joined the always entertaining (and by entertaining, we don't mean genuinely entertaining; we mean entertaining the way that crazy dude talking about the history of nations on the Red Line is entertaining) Monsters in the Morning, a Mike North-Dan Jiggetts joint. On the show, North asked some pretty incisive questions about where the Bulls are, how Reinsdorf feels about the team, and who he blames. And wouldn't you know it: It's not John Paxson:
Jerry Reinsdorf: "When you have a team that's not performing it's an organization failure. You win and you lose as an organization. But if there's one person that is not responsible for what's going on right now, it's John Paxson. I have tremendous confidence in John Paxson. He's really one of the best people that I know. He's a great general manager and a great judge of talent. I just worry that he not be too hard on himself. He takes all of this very, very seriously."
The follow-up question from there is, of course, then who do you blame? The players? The coaches? Reinsdorf says he didn't want to get into criticisms of the coaching in public. Which is fair, we guess, except that he just publicly deflected criticisms of his general manager; it's not exactly difficult to do the math from there. There are only so many heads to count in that organization, and we're pretty sure guy who does the LemonHeads races at the United Center is free and clear.
In other words, it's clear Reinsdorf blames Del Negro for a poor performance thus far. At least we can gather that. As to whether Reinsdorf will actually do something about that opinion remains to be seen, but if you're John Paxson, your life just got a little bit less stressful. Del Negro, on the other hand, should probably invest in a few of those puffy stress balls. We hear they work wonders.