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Bulls leave bad taste after victory

CHICAGO -- My only unanswered question right now: If John Paxson tried to bully Vinny Del Negro over Joakim Noah's minutes, did he send Gar Forman in first?

After all, Forman, the team's general manager with Paxson moving up the hierarchical ladder to VP/Being the Boss, is like the Proxy Pax.

I mean, we can all imagine this happening. Tempers run hot, two competitors, a frayed relationship. It all adds up.

At least this explains the complex phone tree necessary to determine if Noah could get a minute extension in the New Jersey loss last week. Everyone wondered why Lindsey Hunter had to ask Forman, who had to ask Paxson's permission to get Noah more time in a crucial game. What a disc-organization!

Just before the biggest game of the season, well, until Wednesday, the story buzzing around the United Center, like Ante Robinson on Red Bull, was a Yahoo Sports story revealing that Paxson physically confronted Del Negro on March 30 over playing Noah too many minutes in the wake of his plantar fasciitis injury.

With one story, the Bulls front office looks like a leaky ship with no one steering. A national broadcast that should have focused on the brilliance of Derrick Rose, the resiliency of Noah and the guts of Kirk Hinrich, was turned into a soap opera guessing game. All the attention made the Bulls organization look like a joke.

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