Bulls blame game starts and finishes with VP Arturas Karnisovas


The blame game is easy for the Bulls these days.

It usually is for underachieving 5-10 teams.

And what’s nice for this organization is there is plenty to go around. The offense is usually tardy for games, the defense comes and goes, and the expected pillars that hold up the roster are filled with crumbling cement and cracks everywhere.

The kind of team that only a certain executive vice president of basketball operations can like, because when it comes down to it Arturas Karnisovas was the only one that felt like keeping this core together for another season was a good idea.

So while it’s easy to get angry with each Patrick Williams got-shutout-again game or the inconsistencies of Zach LaVine on the court and his new temperament off of it, the buck starts and stops at one place. That’s at Karnisovas’ desk.

Karnisovas came into the job like a lion, and now? That “baaah’’ sound coming from his office is no coincidence.

But wait, Karnisovas has not missed one shot, thrown away one pass or blown one defensive assignment. No, but he is the architect of this dumpster fire, and worse yet he brought it back to roll down the street with its stink and flames, somehow believing it would start to soar.

He’s missed on every draft pick not named Ayo so far, he doesn’t have control of a lot of his future draft assets, and now the player he identified as a max guy in LaVine wants to be elsewhere.

The injury to point guard Lonzo Ball was tragic but shouldn’t have crippled a franchise for years. As much flak as John Paxson got in that same seat as Karnisovas, his Bulls lost MVP Derrick Rose and were still a tough out in the playoffs.

The best thing Karnisovas can do now is admit he was wrong, back away from his stance of no more rebuilds, and push the detonator. If he thinks he can reload on the fly, he will be sadly mistaken. That seldom works in the NBA. This roster is a demolition project.

The issue is can he pull it off successfully?

Yes, he has Denver Nuggets on his resume, and they have been a model franchise the last seven years, but it’s time to lose the small-market, little-engine-that-could mentality. Look how quickly major market teams like Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles are willing to pivot off of roster builds and key players.

This is Chicago, and at last look it’s a big boy city treated like a mom-and-pop store by far too many in-town sports owners. It’s time for the Bulls to change that.

Karnisovas has the backing of ownership to do whatever it takes to turn this organization around within a budget. The mentality from the Reinsdorfs with the Bulls these days is “you broke it, you fix it.’’

If Karnisovas is the star executive he was perceived to be, get the wrench out, find the hammer, and start a fixin’.

If general manager Marc Eversley wants to show he’s more than just a Nike guy who built relationships with NBA players by flipping their camp a few pairs of Dunk Low Retros, get under the hood of this wreck and get dirty.

The next three months will be crucial for this front office. Some more transparency along the way could help. Let this fan base know the plane can still be landed despite an engine fire. Let them know all is well. Silence is not golden in the Midwest. It’s passive arrogance.

Yes, LaVine and Nikola Vucevic need to be better. It would be great if Williams understood he is capable of pulling down more than two rebounds in a game. Coach Billy Donovan needs to push more buttons. Not one person in the organization is immune from this.

But it’s obvious where the blame game starts, and Karnisovas just keeps rolling snake eyes.

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