It’s been analyzed to nauseam. The state of the head guy on the Bulls bench, Jim Boylen, his current state and an apparent looming three-year extension…
Why is it or rather what is it has this man done to not only warrant keeping this Bulls’ head gig, but also be rewarded for it long-term? The mutiny inside of the first seven days of being the head honcho? Honestly, how could anything possibly be wrong with just a LITTLE mutiny? Maybe it was the setting the offense back to the mid-’90s with his road dog mentality.
It’s baffling, really. This is the Bulls third head coach now in five seasons. The second one in a row of which that will not have an actual coaching search or any other “worthy” candidates as it were.
The Tom Thibodeau Era while successful, ended very unceremoniously and lead to the hiring of the Ames Mayor, Fred Hoiberg. Following his hiring Hoiberg was tasked of being the Windy City version of Steve Kerr. Bringing in a modern “Pace and Space” offense with principles of instilling up-tempo, ball movement offense. The absolutely correct idea. In theory at least.
Fred subsequently was undercut by then star, Jimmy Butler who wanted him to “coach harder.” Fred obliged by asking him to run the offense he put into place, to which Butler held up his big “Not Interested” sign. Fred then asked to get “younger and more athletic” and end up with Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade and the hyper-athletic Denzel Valentine (Yes, this is facetious).
Year three lead to trading Jimmy and getting Lauri, Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine (the best part of this era). Leading the rebuild was Fred’s job with younger, athletic players who wanted to be in this system. Year four lead to the rebuild being “over” and they signed Chicago’s own Jabari Parker.
Hoiberg is fired and the aforementioned Boylen mutiny begins shortly after. Why rehash the troubled years of Hoiberg and Co? Simply put, it’s because this was the same candidate identified by this front office without a search that is leading the hiring of this coach (Boylen) without another damn coaching search.
We heard from the entity known as GarPax and big reasoning why Jim Boylen is keeping the job is because of his “open door policy.” He has an ongoing open relationship with Michael Reinsdorf, Paxson, Gar, etc.
They also cite his love, passion, and spirit for the job and game of basketball. No kidding? There’s a whole 30 of these jobs in the NBA and Jim freaking Boylen is excited to be the Bulls head coach. Who would’ve thought?!
Apparently, the players also warmed up to him at some point. Heck, Zach LaVine even offered to pay his fine! That couldn’t possibly be lip service though, right? Why would a 24-year-old with All-Star potential possibly want to look good for a coach? The same coach who he kept bus-tossing earlier during his reign.
To recap the front office likes him because he’s tough and gritty with an open door policy, while also setting back offense two decades. But hey, he’s got spirit.
The rumored extension also leads to speculation that at least one other team would be interested in his services.
The most infuriating part of all this is the availability of coaches that are just flat better. They could’ve gone the college route with Eric Musselman or even the rumored Bill Self hiring. The NBA guys consisted of Jerry Stackhouse, Monty Williams, Sam Cassell or even Dave Joerger who was relieved of duty by the Kings.
Any of the names listed would’ve probably been an upgrade over the bald-headed menace.
On top of all this despite having available options and being short-sighted and suffering from borderline hubris; Boylen in his just over half-season as head coach managed to be voted by players as the second most popular coach that players would not want to play for.
His colleagues (Doc Rivers and Igor Kokoškov) fancy him a buffoon (they’re not wrong) who doesn’t seem to understand coaching etiquette and won’t even shake his hand at the conclusion of games.
In short, the rumored extension is not only disappointing but infuriating. The fact that he’s kept the job and wasn’t even given the interim tag to potentially earn the job is flat weird and lazy on the part of this front office. This coaching tenure really should have been over well before it even started and yet here we are.
Finally, if Paxson wants something done or citing how he’s working with Doug Collins, why not coach the team yourself, John? Better yet, re-hire Doug to do the job. Here’s to hoping that the lauded plan of luck by Gar and Paxson comes to fruition.
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