Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen’s future looked grim a few months ago, but there is growing reason to believe he’s going to keep his job after all.
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, there is “strong growning momentum” that Boylen will be retained as the Bulls’ head coach. The primary reason is said to be the finances of chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
Reinsdorf, who also owns the White Sox and the United Center, estimated that his losses due to the pandemic will be in the nine figure range. In addition, uncertainty about the 2020-21 NBA season — and the fact that some sort of separate camp for the Bulls and the seven other teams not invited to the Orlando bubble — makes keeping Boylen a safer option at this point.
Boylen’s salary is also a factor. His $1.6 million salary makes him one of the league’s lowest-paid head coaches, which is advantageous given Reinsdorf’s financial concerns.
Jim Boylen has had a difficult time connecting with Chicago Bulls players since he took over as head coach last season. Some comments rookie Daniel Gafford made about Boylen this week are a reminder of that.
Gafford was asked during a Twitch stream on Monday if he likes Boylen. The former Arkansas star didn’t exactly give his coach a ringing endorsement, saying Boylen has some things to work on as both a person and coach.
Bulls rookie Daniel Gafford on Jim Boylen:
"I don't like him a lot, but he okay. Got some things he can work on, got some things he can get better at as a person and as a coach."
Those remarks are likely on par with how Bulls veterans feel about Boylen.
Boylen has gone 39-84 as Chicago’s head coach in parts of two seasons. The Bulls were 22-43 at the time the season was postponed and did not make the cut for the resumed season in Orlando. While the team recently brought in Arturas Karnisovas to overhaul the front office and organization, there have been indications that Boylen is going to keep his job for now.
When the Chicago Bulls brought in Arturas Karnisovas to overhaul the team’s front office and organization, there was strong speculation that head coach Jim Boylen would be let go. We’re now towards the end of July, and Boylen remains the team’s head coach, which suggests he may not be going anywhere.
Johnson laid out several current circumstances that point to the organization keeping Boylen. The lack of business revenue, lack of formal team activities, and all the uncertainty in the current situation due to coronavirus makes it potentially a bad time to make a coaching switch.
On top of all the reasons that makes a coaching change difficult, Boylen has been active with player development strategies, according to Johnson, suggesting his more involved with the team.
Chicago was 22-43 at the time of the NBA shutdown and did not make the cut for the restart in Orlando. Boylen was promoted to head coach in Dec. 2018 when Fred Hoiberg was let go. He has gone 39-84 as head coach in parts of two seasons. Boylen keeping the job for now might come as a disappointment to some of the team’s players.
“NBA Jam” was a defining video game for many of our childhoods, but its creator is making a revelation that you may not have known about the game.
In an interview this week with Ars Technica, Mark Turmell, the lead designer and programmer of “NBA Jam,” admitted to installing a code in the game such that the Chicago Bulls could never make a last-second shot against the Detroit Pistons. Turmell is a native of Michigan and a fan of the Pistons.
“Making this game in Chicago during the height of the Michael Jordan era, there was a big rivalry between the Pistons and the Bulls,” said Turmell, per Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. “But the one way I could get back at the Bulls once they got over the hump was to affect their skills against the Pistons in NBA Jam. And so I put in special code that if the Bulls were taking last-second shots against the Pistons, they would miss those shots. And so, if you’re ever playing the game, make sure you pick the Pistons over the Bulls.”
“NBA Jam” was first released in 1993 and became a global sensation, such that it is still regarded as a classic today. While Turmell mentions that it was made at the peak of the Michael Jordan era, Jordan’s likeness did not actually appear in the game, as he chose to opt out of the NBPA’s licensing agreement.
Otto Porter’s Chicago Bulls career may be coming to an end before too long.
Porter signed a 4-year, $106.5 million contract with the Washington Wizards three years ago and was traded to the Bulls last year. He has a $28.49 million option for next season that he almost certainly will exercise. Beyond that, he probably will have to find a new team.
Porter dealt with a broken foot this season and has only played in 29 games for the Bulls since they acquired him from Washington. He’s a good player when healthy, but he hasn’t been healthy for Chicago.
Porter is averaging just 11.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game this season and shooting 38.7 percent on threes. His Bulls were among the eight teams that did not qualify for the resumed season in Orlando, leaving players upset.
Lauri Markkanen got the short end of the stick this season with the Chicago Bulls, but the team’s new management is committed to ensuring that it doesn’t happen again.
Speaking with reporters on Saturday, new Bulls executive Arturas Karnisovas expressed the team’s dedication to developing Markkanen.
“We’ve spoken to Lauri numerous times,” he said, per Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. “He’s been very patient, stayed in the market. His family is now with him. I spoke to him about last year. He’s eager to get back to the gym and improve. He was disappointed by the overall result [last season].
“Every player wants to win,” Karnisovas continued. “He’s about winning, as well. Our objective is to get the best version of Lauri next year. We agreed in conversations that this is our objective, and we’re going to try to do it. I’ll look forward to meeting him face-to-face. Before accountability, I have to have a personal relationship with him.”
Markkanen, 23, regressed noticeably this past season, averaging a lackluster 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He struggled to find his footing in the team’s offense and also logged a career-low in shot attempts per game.
The Chicago Bulls haven’t officially parted ways with current head coach Jim Boylen yet, but it certainly sounds like they will — and already have his replacement in mind.
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls are almost certain to fire Boylen. The current frontrunner to take over the job is Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka. Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin is also seen as a possibility.
Udoka is a former Gregg Popovich assistant who is just finishing his first year in Philadelphia. While he has no head coaching experience, he has been an assistant for quite some time and would fall under the Popovich coaching tree, which has a pretty solid pedigree.