Zach LaVine met with Jim Boylen in attempt to clear the air
The Chicago Bulls appear to be on the brink of disaster under new head coach Jim Boylen, and Zach LaVine is doing what he can to try to help keep the peace.
LaVine told ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Ramona Shelburne that he met with Boylen one-on-one after several Bulls players discussed the idea of boycotting Sunday’s practice, which Boylen was planning to hold after the team played games on consecutive nights. LaVine said he wanted to voice his opinion and hear his coach out as one of the leaders in Chicago.
“You just want to be real with people,” the star point guard said. “There shouldn’t be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them.”
“This is a business, this isn’t a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice.”
A bombshell report from Yahoo Sports this week detailed some of the issues that have been going on between Boylen and his players. According to the report, Bulls players texted each other after Saturday night’s 56-point loss to the Boston Celtics to discuss the idea of skipping Sunday’s practice because they were embarrassed over the way Boylen subbed out all five players at once on two separate occasions during the blowout. Boylen originally called for a two-and-a-half hour practice, and some players went as far as to contact the National Basketball Players’ Association over coach the coach’s tactics.
Boylen said Monday that he planned on holding a tough practice on Sunday but changed his mind and was going to have a light one, though he claimed he was not swayed by players threatening to boycott. The team ultimately decided to report to work and hold a players-only meeting followed by another meeting with management and coaches. LaVine said he spoke with Boylen separately after those meetings.
According to ESPN, the idea of forming a “leadership committee” was discussed during the second meeting on Sunday. That would involve whoever was appointed to the committee acting as a liaison between the players and coaches to avoid these types of issues going forward.
Boylen has been given the authority by Bulls management to change the culture of the team however he deems necessary, but it is clear some of his hard-nosed tactics have backfired.