Jerry Reinsdorf

Bears, Bulls and Cubs all in top 20 of Forbes’ most valuable sports teams

Bears, Bulls and Cubs all in top 20 of Forbes’ most valuable sports teams

Forbes released its annual sports team value rankings on Friday. Three Chicago teams made the cut: the Bears, Bulls and Cubs.

The Bears checked in at No. 13 with an estimated value of $3.45 billion, making it the sixth-most valuable NFL franchise behind the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers — quite the return on investment for the reported $100 the McCaskey family bought the team for in 1920.

Meanwhile, the Bulls and Cubs tied at No. 17 with twin $3.2 billion valuations. Jerry Reinsdorf and a group of investors purchased the Bulls for $16.2 million in 1985; the Ricketts family purchased the Cubs for $700 million in 2009.

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By Forbes’ calculations, that makes the Bulls and Cubs the fourth-most valuable franchises in their respective sports. In the NBA, the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors registered higher valuations than the Bulls. The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox checked in ahead of the Cubbies.

All three Chicago teams gained value over the course of the year. In Forbes’ 2019 rankings, the Bulls and Bears were valued at $2.9 billion, and the Cubs at $3.1 billion.

The NFL boasted 27 teams in Forbes’ top 50, by far the most of any sports league (the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans were the only clubs not represented). The NBA was second with nine.

And with three teams listed, Chicago tied with San Francisco and Boston as the third-most represented markets in the top 50. New York, with six teams, was first in that category; Los Angeles, with five, was second.

Longtime Jazz coach, Bulls great Jerry Sloan dies at age 78

Longtime Jazz coach, Bulls great Jerry Sloan dies at age 78

Longtime Utah Jazz head coach and Bulls great Jerry Sloan passed away Friday morning at the age of 78 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, the Jazz announced.

“Our Hall of Fame coach for 23 years, Jerry had a tremendous impact on the Jazz franchise as expressed by his banner hanging in the arena rafters,” a statement reads. “His 1,223 Jazz coaching wins, 20 trips to the NBA Playoffs and two NBA Finals appearances are remarkable achievements. His hard-nosed approach only made him more beloved. Even after his retirement, his presence at Jazz games always brought a roaring response from the crowd.”

Sloan’s name hangs from the United Center rafters, as well, in the form of his No. 4 Bulls jersey. He played 10 seasons with the franchise, including its inaugural year, after being plucked from the Baltimore Bullets in the 1966 expansion draft. Sloan made two All-Star teams and earned four All-Defensive first team selections — the latter was his calling card.

He also became the first player in Bulls history to have his number retired in 1978, then coached the team for three seasons from 1979-1982. His contributions to the Bulls earned him the affectionate moniker, “The Original Bull."

"Jerry Sloan was 'The Original Bull' whose tenacious defense and nightly hustle on the court represented the franchise and epitomized the city of Chicago," Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. "Jerry was the face of the Bulls organization from its inception through the mid-1970s, and very appropriately, his uniform No. 4 was the first jersey retired by the team. A great player and and a Hall-of-Fame NBA coach, most importantly, Jerry was a great person. Our sympathies go out to the Sloan family and all his many fans."

Sloan went on to work for the Jazz for 34 years in positions ranging from head coach, assistant, scout and senior basketball adviser. He finished his 23-year run as head coach of the Jazz as the third-winningest in NBA history with a record of 1,221-803, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

“It was an honor and a privilege to have one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history coaching our team,” the Miller family, which owns the Jazz, said in a statement. “We have appreciated our relationship with Jerry and acknowledge his dedication to and passion for the Utah Jazz. He has left an enduring legacy with this franchise and our family. 

“The far-reaching impact of his life has touched our city, state and the world as well as countless players, staff and fans. We pray his family will find solace and comfort in Jerry’s life. The Miller family and Jazz organization will be proud to honor him with a permanent tribute.”

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Jerry Reinsdorf 'excited' about Bulls' hires of Arturas Karnisovas, Marc Eversley

Jerry Reinsdorf 'excited' about Bulls' hires of Arturas Karnisovas, Marc Eversley

Arturas Karnisovas is just the third head of basketball operations for the Bulls since chairman Jerry Reinsdorf led a group of investors to purchase the franchise in 1985.

New general manager Marc Eversley replaces longtime executive Gar Forman, who had a two-decade run under ownership known for stability.

“I’m excited about these guys,” Reinsdorf told NBC Sports Chicago. “In talking with Arturas and hearing what everyone else said about him, I was convinced we made the right decision. He’s not an egomaniac. He’s not shy. He seems balanced and basketball smart. That’s what I got out of the interview.”

Unlike Jerry Krause and John Paxson, Reinsdorf didn’t lead this search and interview process. His son, Michael, did.

At Karnisovas’ introductory teleconference last month, Michael, the team president and chief operating officer, detailed the final stage of the interview process. 

“At the end of the day, my Dad, Jerry, is still the boss. So we had to have that final interview with my dad, and we did that over video. And it was clear after that meeting that we had our new head of basketball operations,” Michael Reinsdorf said in April. “I think what my Dad said to me after the meeting when we reconvened was: 'I never thought you would find anyone as great as Arturas.' So I knew we were done, and that night we were able to negotiate a deal with Arturas.”

Elaborating on a sentiment first offered in his statement last month, Jerry Reinsdorf thanked Paxson, now a senior advisor, for his role in the transition. 

“John came to me and Michael and said we have to make a change, that we need to change generations,” Jerry Reinsdorf said. “Michael and John did the research, found people, interviewed them. At the end, I talked to Arturas. I didn’t have a big role, but I’m convinced we found a smart leader.”

RELATED: Jerry Reinsdorf on why Bulls’ dynasty ended and Michael Jordan’s greatness

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