Good morning, frents …
The PGA Tour announced on Monday that the Masters is now scheduled for the week of November 9-15. Which means we could conceivably have a Sunday that features a Bears game at noon, the final round at Augusta in the late afternoon and … just humor me here … a Cubs-White Sox World Series game at Dodger Stadium at night.
Everything that has already happened in 2020 once did, too.
Don’t everyone jump at once
With the Bears going back to draft prep mode and Chicago’s other teams lying dormant, it’s now the Bulls’ turn to entertain us for a week.
And, well, “entertaining” would be one word for it.
Just days into the search for a new front office leader, the Bulls have been politely dismissed by two of the four names that were leaked as the team’s early wish list.
That would be Indiana GM Chad Buchanan and Miami assistant GM Adam Simon, both of whom turned the Bulls down before the team could even get a Google Hangout with either.
A third, Toronto GM Bobby Webster, is widely expected to stay under contract with the Raptors through next season and maybe even sign an extension.
That leaves Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas as the lone standing member of that desired quartet. He’ll interview with the Bulls, Woj reported. Utah GM Justin Zanik has also already met with the team.
More names, presumably, will need to surface in the coming days. NBC Sports’ KC Johnson says
None of this is surprising, of course.
Candidates decline interviews all the time, particularly when they hold jobs in a better environment. Is there anyone who watches the NBA that would consider the Bulls job to be a better one than the teams named above? Any of those five candidates would be getting an ostensible promotion by getting to run their own show with the Bulls, so there’s that. And maybe they or one of their wives have always loved the idea of working in Chicago. (Zanik falls under that latter group. He went to Northwestern and once interned for Chicago-based agent Mark Bartelstein.)
But take away those factors — plus the long since faded glow of the title era — and what are the Bulls promising here? A chance to sift through this latest rebuild for usable parts? The opportunity to enter a dysfunctional situation that doesn’t already contain an infrastructure of the progressive systems they now enjoy?
No wonder at least two candidates didn’t even bother to hear an elevator pitch.
If you’re looking for hope, though, there’s some reason not to totally shut down.
The Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley wrote than John Paxson didn’t participate in Zanik’s interview. So maybe Paxson’s reported insistence on stepping aside as far astride as possible as the next guy wants has some merit.
Look, if the new leader is to steer the Bulls out of their Knicks-led skid, it’ll be imperative that he’s not only given a wide berth by Paxson but every resource and permission he asks for.
If the Bulls can’t communicate or promise that in the interviews they do land, there will be more tallies in the “thanks, but no thanks” category.
Let’s cross our fingers, though, that they see the writing on the wall. They need the best guy from the job more than the best guy needs them.
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• MLB and the players union are reportedly discussing a plan that would have all 30 teams starting the season and playing games in the Phoenix area. (AP)
• Roger Goodell announced on Monday that the NFL Draft will be “fully virtual” and that all 32 team facilities will remain closed. (NFL)
Have a link for Midway Minute? Email me!
• POD ALERT! I did a guest turn on The Heckler’s “Wellness Check Podcast,” a cool daily show that Brad is running with Chicago-area folks throughout the lockdown.
Among the topics discussed: Starting a sports newsletter in the time of no sports, the time The Heckler gave me a so-so review after I gave up a year of my life to write a book and how to properly ask for Nick Friedell’s autograph. (The Heckler)
• Four Bears landed on the NFL’s all-2010s decade team: Khalil Mack, Devin Hester, Julius Peppers and … Cordarrelle Patterson. (Bears Wire)
• Jeff Arnold catches up with Sister Jean and asks her advice. (New York Times)
• Last night should have been the NCAA title game. We’ll have to make do with this funny one-man One Shining Moment instead. (Brandon Gaudin)
• A female fashion spread in spring 2020 inspired by the Blues Brothers. As Chicago as it gets. (Chicago Mag)
• If you liked looking at the baseball diamonds from yesterday’s newsletter, I solicited a great new crop on Twitter for you. (Twitter)
• Finally, exciting news! I’ve partnered with the great BreakingT to bring you some cool Chicago t-shirts you might like from time to time. First up: An officially licensed and colorful tribute to the great Ed Farmer.
That’s it for today. Stay safe and sane out there and, as always, thank you for being a #frentofthenewsletter.