Bulls' Billy Donovan appreciates relationship with Jerry Reinsdorf

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Donovan appreciates relationship with Jerry Reinsdorf originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

PHOENIX — A big part of why Billy Donovan is the coach of the Chicago Bulls is the connection he felt with management and ownership.

Those relationships have only strengthened over time, which is part of the reason why Donovan signed a multiyear contract extension before the season to add to his original, four-year deal set to expire after the 2023-24 season.

Even though Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf long ago ceded day-to-day operations to his son, Michael, Donovan said he has a strong relationship with Jerry.

In fact, in a mild surprise, Donovan said they likely talk weekly.

“It’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed my relationship. We talk quite a bit. I find him very funny. I wouldn’t say we’re talking every single day, but I definitely think we talk weekly and communicate,” Donovan said. “I’ve enjoyed his history in sports when you talk to him, because he has experienced a lot of things both on the baseball and basketball side. I think the relationship there has been positive.”

So is Donovan’s relationship with Bulls executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas, whom Donovan said approached him first about an extension.

“Obviously, I was very, very humbled, very grateful,” Donovan said. “For me, a lot of it is about who are you working with and who are you working for. And I’ve really enjoyed my time working inside the organization and I’ve really enjoyed the city. I felt extremely fortunate and blessed.”

These strong relationships allow for honest dialogue with different viewpoints.

“I like the conversations that we have about how we improve the team. I think they’re very honest, very open. We talk all the time. You’re not going to always see eye-to-eye or agree on everything,” Donovan said. “But I feel there’s a collaborative working relationship where you can have a lot of conversations and that’s healthy.

"The connection piece of trying to continue to build and get better, I feel very much that everybody is on the same page with that. And I appreciate that. That makes it enjoyable every day coming to work.”

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