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Volume 24 No. 115
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Bulls Bring Back Doug Collins As Adviser; GM Gar Forman Expected To Keep His Job

The Bulls yesterday named former coach Doug Collins Senior Adviser of Basketball Operations, and in many ways he will be "tasked to replicate the success" Jerry West had in his time as an adviser with the Warriors, according to K.C. Johnson of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Collins will report to Senior VP/Basketball Operations John Paxson and "won't be replacing" GM Gar Forman, who ownership "still backs despite vocal fans calling for his job as well as a reputation in some NBA circles for spin control over accountability." Paxson said Collins will "not be a decision-maker" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/20). In Chicago, David Haugh notes Collins' stature "appealed" to Paxson, who knew the Bulls were "on the verge of embarking on a rebuilding project that requires some fresh eyes and fertile thoughts." A Labor Day dinner between Collins, Bulls Chair Jerry Reinsdorf and President & COO Michael Reinsdorf "sealed the deal." For an organization that "can be resistant to change," it just "added boldness to the building." There is "nothing not to like about the addition of Collins." Collins yesterday called ESPN to "end his relationship after four years." The net will "miss the acumen of basketball's best analyst," and broadcasting's "loss is the Bulls' gain" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/20). The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson tweeted Collins' exit from ESPN is "unfortunate," as he was a "very good game analyst." But "even without Collins, ESPN still has plenty of NBA game analysts" (TWITTER.com, 9/19).

MAKING THE CONNECTION: THE ATHLETIC's Sean Highkin wrote no one "yet knows quite what Collins will do." But bringing in a "respected basketball lifer to be another voice in the room" is a "great idea." Paxson acknowledged that his "longstanding relationship with Collins led in part to this move" (THEATHLETIC.com, 9/19). CSNCHICAGO.com's Vincent Goodwill wrote Collins’ "connection to Paxson and Jerry Reinsdorf, a growing relationship with Michael Reinsdorf and ability to relate" with coach Fred Hoiberg due to the "misery of coaching should align a front office to the floor in ways that has been in doubt for the past several seasons" (CSNCHICAGO.com, 9/19). 

BUSINESS AS USUAL: In Chicago, Joe Cowley writes Forman is now "safe to continue with his machinations." Sources said that in the last four years, staff members have had phones and laptops "confiscated a handful of times to check for criticism and media leaks." Several players have said that they "no longer could trust members of the coaching staff because of information that was relayed to Forman." Even outside media members "aren’t safe." Forman was "so angry" with ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy’s on-air criticism during the '14-15 season that he "confronted Van Gundy in a bathroom at halftime of a game" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/20).