April 13 (UPI) — The Chicago Bulls parted ways with general manager Gar Forman after more than two decades, the team announced Monday.
Forman, who spent the last 10 years in the general manager role, was with the Bulls for 22 years. The move came soon after Chicago confirmed the hiring of Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas as the team’s new executive vice president of basketball operations.
“Gar Forman worked tirelessly for the Chicago Bulls organization, first as a scout and then as an executive,” Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement Monday. “He made many significant contributions during his time here and helped to bring some of the brightest young basketball talent to our team, from Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson to Jimmy Butler and Coby White.
“He has been a trusted advisor and friend to me over the years, and on behalf of everyone I want to thank him for his commitment to the organization. Gar will always be a part of our Bulls family.”
Forman was named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2011. During his tenure as general manager, the Bulls reached the playoffs seven times.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to work for the Chicago Bulls for more than two decades,” Forman said. “There is no better ownership group in professional sports than the Reinsdorfs, and I want to thank Jerry and Michael for their support during my tenure. The Bulls organization will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Karnisovas, who was introduced by the Bulls in a conference call Monday, said he had “different philosophies” than Forman, which would prevent them from moving forward.
Karnisovas replaced John Paxson, who served as the Bulls’ executive vice president of basketball operations since 2003. He also was Chicago’s general manager until Forman was hired in 2009.
The Bulls announced Monday that Paxson will remain with the team in the new role of senior adviser of basketball operations.
“I’ve always tried to do what was best for our organization and put our team in position to succeed, and ultimately compete,” Paxson said in a statement. “I know Arturas will do the same. He brings the kind of talent, experience and commitment to collaboration that will allow him to succeed in his new role.
“I truly believe this is a great opportunity for the Bulls organization and that there are bright days ahead.”
The Bulls held a 22-43 record this year before the NBA suspended its season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Chicago hasn’t won a playoff series since 2015.