CHICAGO (CBS) –– With the Bulls and White Sox part of his portfolio, Jerry Reinsdorf is by far the most powerful man in Chicago sports.
Reinsdorf has turned over the reins of his basketball team to his son Michael. As CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke reports, the kid is a chip off the chairman’s block.
Michael Reinsdorf knows he got the job because of his last name, but a year and a half later after becoming the Bulls President and Chief Operator Officer, Michael is set on making a name for himself.
“I feel very confident I have earned my way to this position, and I think if you talk to other people in organization they would tell you that the culture has changed in a positive way,” he says.
Michael is the only one of Jerry Reinsdorf’s four kids to work for him. But it wasn’t until Michael sold a successful minor-league hockey team in California and wanted to be with his family more in Chicago that his dad approached him about calling the shots for the Bulls.
Michael says his father assured him, “I’m not going to micromanage you.”
What’s the best advice his father has given to him?
“Sometimes the best deal is the deal you don’t make,” the junior Reinsdorf says.
The first thing Michael did as Bulls president was to sit down for lengthy meetings with all 75 employees in one-on-one sessions so that he could learn every facet of the organization.
“It worked out really well and I learned a lot about this organization,” Michael says.
Reinsdorf says he talks with General Manager Gar Forman, President of Basketball Operations John Paxson and Coach Tom Thibodeau all the time.
He adds: “I don’t ever tell them, ‘Hey, you should trade this player or you should draft this guy.’”
Says Forman: “He’s really opened up lines of communication to the two sides.”
Reinsdorf says the ultimate goal remains an NBA championship.
One of Michael’s recent changes was to the charity arm of the Bulls by renaming it and refocusing on education and anti-violence. Michael Reinsdorf’s other big goal is to make the team the most philanthropic franchise in sports.