Fired for fighting: John Paxson must leave Chicago Bulls for provoking confrontation with Vinny Del Negro
The Quick Hit: John Paxson, the player, was known for knocking down jump shots. John Paxson, the front office suit, may be known for knocking down coaches.
Today, reports surfaced that the former guard and current Executive Vice President of the Chicago Bulls provoked a ‘physical altercation’ with sideline boss Vinny Del Negro over Joakim Noah’s playing time following a March 30th loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Let us be clear: ‘physical altercation’ is code for fight. And while Paxson vs. Del Negro isn’t exactly Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier or even Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy, their wee donnybrook is sufficient grounds for Michael Jordan’s backcourt mate to finally be fired.
As soon as Chicago’s season ends, at the first possible moment, Paxson has to go. Get the pink slip ready. Keep security on-call to escort him from the building and assist in his inevitable walk of shame. And, for god’s sake, start changing the locks and security codes at the United Center.
Simply put, Paxson crossed a line there’s no returning from. At a minimum, front office suits should set an example in the workplace, especially when they make six-to-seven figures and do a very average job.
Instead of modelling professionalism for the players and co-workers, Paxson engaged in boorish behaviour. Now he looks like a hypocrite. After all, didn’t Paxson lead the charge to suspend Noah when he copped attitude as a rookie? Wasn’t Tyrus Thomas traded to the Charlotte Bobcats, in part, because he refused to listen to Del Negro and the coaches?
Forget that Paxson overpaid Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng. Forget that Paxson drafted and then traded star LaMarcus Aldridge for Thomas. Forget Paxson’s fugasi firing of Del Negro last December. And forget the Bulls’ mediocre record.
None of that matters. Not one bit. This is all about Paxson holding himself to the same standard as everybody else, a standard he set.
Bottom line: Paxson lacks the credibility to do or keep his job. And the Bulls must fire him to keep what little credibility they still have.
Should Chicago fire Paxson? Let us know in the comment box below. Photo courtesy of Joel Brigham.