Who Ran The Bulls From 2003-2007?
In light of all the recent trades and rumors swirling around Paxson, people have been analyzing his legacy. My focus has been mainly on how much Reinsdorf was really calling the shots and whether that interfered with Paxson’s job.
But was someone else really pulling the strings from 2003- 2007? Scott Skiles put his imprint on the team and gave them an identity on the court. With his attitude and coaching style (angry, disrespectful and a bully), he was able to get the Bulls to play ferocious defense and win a lot of games. Was Scott Skiles also calling shots in the front office? Tim Thomas seems to think so. When asked if he has hard feelings about his last stint with the Bulls, he answered:
”[Paxson] really didn’t go into it,” Thomas said. ”I’m pretty sure he felt a certain way about the whole situation. There was a lot of heat on the organization at that particular time. There’s really no need to talk about it. That’s in the past. The guy who was pretty much controlling things is gone.
Now this is Tim Thomas, and its not to say that Paxson and Skiles weren’t on the same page for Skiles’ entire tenure, but this does make some sense. Guys that Skiles didn’t like were shipped out without playing a game. Tim Thomas and J.R. Smith are just two examples, but how many other deals were forced or made by Skiles? Was Curry really traded because Skiles wanted him gone? Chandler? We know Skiles sat Thomas and to a lesser extent Noah, even after Paxson made clear numerous times that he wanted the young guys to get minutes. Who knows, but Skiles is one controlling, stubborn person and his pattern of coaching continues in Milwaukee. He comes in, bullies his team into playing with intensity, team starts winning, Skiles imposes his will on the entire organization, players get sick of being treated like shit, players tune out Skiles, Skiles gets fired. Annoyingly we have to deal with him getting Milwaukee to compete for our playoff spot this year before the inevitable meltdown when the team turns on him next year.