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#pounditSaturday, December 4, 2021

Articles tagged: Chicago Bulls

Jim Boylen agrees to contract extension with Bulls

Jim Boylen

Jim Boylen got off to a rocky start with the Chicago Bulls after he took over head coaching duties when Fred Hoiberg was fired 24 games into the season, but the team apparently has faith that he can turn things around going forward.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that Boylen has agreed to a multi-year extension with the Bulls. Ownership feels he is the right coach to lead a young roster.

Chicago’s front office gave Boylen the freedom to run the team using his disciplinarian style from the time he took over for Hoiberg, and that nearly led to a mutiny among players early in the season. However, even with the Bulls winning just 22 games, the relationship between Boylen and his players clearly strengthened as the season went on. Boylen was fined at one point for standing up for his players, and Zach LaVine made a big statement when he offered to pay the fine.

Bulls coach calls Zach LaVine’s offer to pay fine ‘an unbelievable gesture’

Zach LaVine

Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine appreciated the way head coach Jim Boylen defended his players during a game last week, and he offered to cover the fine Boylen received from the NBA for picking up two technical fouls and being ejected from Friday night’s game during the Los Angeles Clippers. The gesture was not lost on the coach.

Boylen said he was upset with the screens the Clippers were setting, and LaVine later told reporters he appreciates having a coach who is “going to fight for us.” The NBA fined Boylen a total of $7,000 for the two technical fouls and the ejection, and LaVine offered to pay the money. League rules prohibit that, but the offer clearly went a long way with Boylen.

The Bulls got off to an incredibly tough start with Boylen after former coach Fred Hoiberg was fired, and LaVine was one of the players who threw shade at the coaching staff. While Chicago is just 19-52 on the season, his relationship with Boylen has obviously come a long way.

Stan Van Gundy rips Bulls front office: They don’t respect coaches

Stan Van Gundy

Stan Van Gundy thinks the Chicago Bulls have created a terrible situation for NBA head coaches.

Van Gundy joined “Kap & Co” on ESPN 1000 in Chicago for an interview on Tuesday. He was asked about the team switching coaches and was critical of the Bulls’ front office.

“That’s a bad setup for coaches in Chicago,” Van Gundy said. “They had their conflicts over the years with Tom Thibodeau even though he was winning. They fired a guy in Thibodeau, who was having great success. … They quit on Fred (Hoiberg) and now they’re going to Jim (Boylen). I would bet on (John) Paxson and (Gar) Forman simply offering Jim Boylen up as their next excuse for poor performance.

“The bottom line is that is not a good place to be if you are an NBA basketball coach — working for those two guys. They don’t respect coaches.”

Van Gundy stressed consistency and a lack of turnover as a key to rebuilding with a young team, and he says the Bulls are doing the opposite. He also said he didn’t think the Bulls would be able to land desirable coaches.

“I don’t think anybody who’s had any experience in the league would take that job feeling like they’re going to be empowered and supported by the front office.”

The Bulls fired Thibodeau after five seasons and five playoff appearances on the job. They reached the conference finals in his first year and the conference finals twice. Then Hoiberg was hired and fired early this season and replaced by Boylen. The negative feelings seem to be permeating throughout the organization, as players have been critical of the coaches. The Bulls are just not a very desirable destination at this point.

Bulls players offer curious quotes after latest loss

Chicago Bulls logo

A couple of Chicago Bulls players offered some peculiar quotes after the team’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bulls’ dreadful season continued on Wednesday with a 121-101 defeat, their 37th loss in 48 games this season. Following the game, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen both said that the Bulls’ performances during games are not indicative of their practice sessions.

This season has been tumultuous one for the Bulls to say the least. Zach LaVine appeared to throw shade at the team’s new coaches. Cameron Payne seemed happy at the report he would be waived by Chicago.

Earlier in the season, players reportedly discussed skipping practice. Not to be forgotten, Fred Hoiberg was fired 24 games into the season.

These aren’t great times to be a Chicago Bulls fan, and it doesn’t look like the turnaround will happen anytime soon.

Carmelo Anthony traded to Bulls, who will waive him

Carmelo Anthony

The Houston Rockets have finally come up with a solution for parting ways with Carmelo Anthony.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Rockets have agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and cash to the Chicago Bulls.

By trading Anthony, the Rockets will save $2.6 million on their luxury tax bill. The move is likely a financially-motivated one for the Bulls, too, as they are currently 11-36 and have no use for a veteran scorer. Wojnarowski added that they are expected to waive Anthony.

The situation is similar to what happened with Anthony before he ended up with the Rockets, when he was first traded to the Atlanta Hawks and never played a game for them. Carmelo even cracked a funny joke about that when it happened.

It’s unclear how much Anthony has left in the tank. The 34-year-old appeared in just 10 games for Houston and averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. There has been speculation that he could finally end up playing alongside his good friend LeBron James.

Zach LaVine appears to throw shade at Bulls’ coaches

Zach LaVine

The Chicago Bulls have not won a game in nearly a month, and their best player came awfully close to blaming that on the coaching staff following the team’s latest loss.

After the Bulls fell 117-103 to the Miami Heat on Saturday for their 10th consecutive loss, Zach LaVine called attention to the fact that the Bulls have as good of a roster as they have had all year but somehow look worse than ever.

If the roster is better now, what could account for the even worse performance? It seems fairly obvious that LaVine is referring to coaching.

For any other team, LaVine’s comments might be a surprise. However, it has already been well documented that Bulls players do not see eye-to-eye with head coach Jim Boylen, who took over after Fred Hoiberg was fired earlier in the year. Chicago’s front office has supported Boylen and given him the freedom to run the team with his disciplinarian style, but that nearly led to a mutiny earlier in the season.

At one point, it seemed like LaVine was trying to take on a leadership role by playing the middle man between Boylen and frustrated Bulls players. His latest remarks indicate he, too, has run out of patience.

Watch: Bulls, Thunder scuffle leads to double-technical fouls

Thunder Bulls scrap

Several players were hit with technical fouls for their roles in a third quarter scuffle between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Kris Dunn shoved Russell Westbrook with under five minutes remaining the quarter. Westbrook shoved him back. Then Jerami Grant came in to interfere, and Chicago’s Robin Lopez got in the middle and was the most heated of all.

Dunn, Westbrook, Grant and Lopez all received technical fouls for their actions.

A few minutes later, Lopez was ejected from the game after being called for a tech for dropping the ball onto Grant.

Lopez had it coming.

Zach LaVine met with Jim Boylen in attempt to clear the air

Zach LaVine

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.

Kings player trolls Bulls with funny zinger after easy win

Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings piled on to the Chicago Bulls’ misery.

The Bulls’ disappointing start to the season continued with a 108-89 loss to the Kings in Chicago. Following the game, a Sacramento player trolled the Bulls with a comment that made reference to the way their new head coach is handling the team.

Following a loss to the Indiana Pacers last week, new Bulls head coach Jim Boylen had his players run “suicides” during a two and a half hour practice. Boylen reportedly felt the team was not in good condition.

Since then, Chicago has held a team meeting and had players discuss skipping practice. There have also been players who reportedly confronted Boylen over his coaching tactics.

Right now, it’s easy to pile on the Chicago Bulls, and at least one Sacramento Kings player did just that.

Bulls players reportedly confronted Jim Boylen over aggressive coaching tactics

Jim Boylen

The issues the Chicago Bulls are experiencing appear to run pretty deep.

According to Vincent Goodwill and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Bulls players went as far as to contact the National Basketball Players’ Association over coach Jim Boylen’s handling at the team. Grievances include Boylen’s decision to call for a two-and-a-half hour Sunday practice after the Bulls had played back-to-back games. The second of those back-to-backs saw the entire Chicago starting five off as a group twice. They were the latest instances in conduct unusual of an NBA head coach, including Boylen forcing his team to watch game film immediately after one loss to Indiana despite emotions still being high.

As previously reported, the Bulls considered skipping the Sunday practice entirely, but ultimately showed up and demanded to meet instead. Boylen defended himself when confronting, citing his time as a San Antonio Spurs assistant under Gregg Popovich, who has occasionally used the same approach of pulling all five players when dissatisfied with performance. One player responded by noting simply that Boylen is no Popovich.

Some executives feel that Boylen has already lost the team, perhaps irreparably. His efforts to put a stamp of authority on the team appear to have backfired and done nothing but break trust and lead to negative feelings.