Arturas Karnisovas, the reported new executive vice president of basketball operations for the Chicago Bulls, plans to hire a person of color to become the team's general manager, a source told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
Multiple unnamed black executives around the NBA expressed their frustration with the Bulls' search for a new vice president before the franchise settled on Karnisovas. One anonymous assistant general manager referred to the process as "a slap in the face."
Chicago's chief operating officer and president, Michael Reinsdorf, reportedly hadn't spoken with any candidates who weren't white as of Wednesday morning. Karnisovas, who had served as the Denver Nuggets' general manager since 2017, is believed to have finalized his deal for the Bulls' top basketball operations role late Wednesday night.
During their search, the Bulls reached out to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the hopes of interviewing their vice president of basketball operations, Troy Weaver, sources told Goodwill. Weaver is African American. However, the Thunder apparently rebuffed the request.
The only person of color among the reported initial group of candidates for the position was Toronto Raptors general manager Bobby Webster, whose mother is Japanese American. The Raptors denied the request to interview Webster, Goodwill reports.
The candidates the Bulls reportedly did interview include former Atlanta Hawks general managers Wes Wilcox and Danny Ferry.
Ferry stepped down from the role in June 2015 following an investigation into a racially insensitive remark he made about Luol Deng while reading a third-party scouting report in a conference call with team ownership.
Wilcox replaced Ferry but stepped down at the end of the 2016-17 season. In January 2017, Wilcox received undisclosed disciplinary action by the Hawks for a racially charged joke he made about his wife, who is black, at an event for season-ticket holders.