Bulls boss makes GM hire while swept up in 'Last Dance' emotions

In the early hours of Sunday, April 26, after an extensive process of reviewing candidates, Arturas Karnisovas decided on the Chicago Bulls' new general manager, Marc Eversley.

ESPN was re-airing the third and fourth episodes of "The Last Dance" docuseries chronicling Chicago's last NBA championship team, and Eversley was watching from his couch when Karnisovas -- the Bulls' executive vice president of basketball operations -- called to offer the position around 1 a.m. ET.

The Bulls officially announced the hire Friday morning.

"I was so emotional watching it that I was thinking, 'Why do I have to wait until Monday? Let me check if he's up,'" Karnisovas recalled.

Eversley made history as the franchise's first black general manager, which is something he takes pride in.

He is in no rush to make a decision on the status of current Bulls coach Jim Boylen and his staff.

"It is really early. Coach [Boylen] and I did have a conversation earlier in the week where he called to congratulate me on accepting the position," Eversley said. "Just like anything else in our staff, we are going to utilize our time to evaluate everybody on staff. Not only players, coaches but also people in the front office as well. I've spoken to Coach, we had a really great conversation and I'm looking forward to spending time with him in Chicago when we're afforded that opportunity."

Boylen's status as head coach isn't likely be determined until after the league lifts its suspension during the coronavirus pandemic. His .317 win percentage is the second lowest to Tim Floyd (.205) in Bulls history for a coach with a minimum of 100 games, per ESPN Stats & Information research.

Eversley says there will be a joint discussion with Karnisovas before anything happens with Boylen.

"We owe it to everybody on staff to get to Chicago and meet them face-to-face," Eversley said. "I think we owe it to our players to hopefully get to evaluate them in practice settings, in playing settings, and we owe it to our staff to see them in those types of setting as well. I just think it's far too early to make any of those types of decisions with respect to anybody on the staff until we get to Chicago."

Chicago was 22-43 this season before the league suspension and hasn't won a playoff series since 2015. In an attempt to return to relevancy, the team also fired longtime general manager Gar Forman after 22 years with the franchise and moved John Paxson to a new role as senior adviser.

In addition to Eversley, Karnisovas has hired J.J. Polk from the New Orleans Pelicans to serve as an assistant general manager and brought in former Phoenix Suns assistant GM Pat Connelly to assist in Chicago. The Bulls also are implementing changes to scouting practices, player evaluation and player development.

"We've had a chance to meet over Zoom a couple times, but it's not only been two weeks. Like I said before, I'm going to do my comprehensive evaluation of every department and ensure I give the process the time it deserves," Karnisovas said. "We are limited right now with what we can do.

"Instead of being in the practice facility and being in Chicago, we're at home doing video and audio calls like this one, so it makes it difficult. So until we get to some level of normalcy -- and again, I do not know what that looks like -- we will not be able to fully access our current situation."