When I saw the below tweet from Joe Cowley in late April, I could not believe what I was reading. I could not believe that Jim Boylen actually thought the head coaching job for the Chicago Bulls was still his to lose.
But then I remembered, he’s Jim Boylen, a coach who has consistently shown ineptitude both on and off the court (ever seen Field of Dreams?). So, I brushed it off, not placing too much emphasis on what Jim Boylen thinks.
However, our very own Buzz wrote this dandy of an article stating Jerry Reinsdorf reportedly wants the current front office regime of Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to consider giving Boylen another chance as head coach.
While there is a chance Reinsdorf was misquoted, I still feel like I need to give him a bit of a refresher as to why bringing back his boy Boylen would be detrimental to the future of his organization. Jerry, this is my attempt at doing just that.
First thing Jerry, your boy Jim has made several puzzling and perplexing in-game decisions throughout his time with your organization. Fans and media alike have questioned his usage of timeouts, sometimes in high leverage situations. Other times, his timeout timing has simply been baffling:
And when the man does have timeouts at his disposal, he doesn’t use them. Even when the Lakers go on a 16-0 run to start the fourth quarter after your team had a 13-point lead to start said quarter, he doesn’t use them.
Or when Daniel Gafford got hurt mid-game and Jim DID NOT use a timeout, causing Rick Carlisle to tell one of his players to foul so Gafford could be subbed out:
Overall, Boylen has not managed in-game situations well, especially high-leverage ones, even putting a player’s health at risk. Surely you don’t want to lose out on your player investments, right Jerry?
Player Development and Relationships
You should know this by now, Mr. Reinsdorf, but in case you don’t: The NBA is a player’s league. How a coaching staff relates and gets along with their players, especially their best players, is paramount to the success of an organization. That is why I loved this take from your new GM:
And with four youngsters who have the potential to be very good NBA players, the opportunity is there for your Bulls to be a perennial playoff team in the not-so-distant future.
But Jim’s mindset and player relationship tactics are outdated. One does not need to look past the punch clock he installed for players to clock in and out of practice.
Furthermore, there has been player regression, especially with Lauri Markkanen — a player who had high hopes coming into his third pro season and who is expected to be a key contributor to the Bulls’ core for years to come.
In addition to his PPG, RPG, and shooting percentage decreasing from his sophomore campaign, it is even more concerning that Lauri had career–lows in shot attempts per game (11.8) and PER (14.3) in 2019-20.
More importantly, it is obvious your boy does not have the respect of your players. Zach Lavine, the best player within your organization, has questioned Boylen many times, even as early as November when he was subbed out three minutes into a loss against the Heat.
Additionally, key players reportedly ripped into Boylen during interviews with your new front office duo. Wendell Carter Jr. even laughed during an interview on All-Star weekend when a fan yelled “Fire Boylen!”:
And should I even mention the Luke Kornet-Robert Horry comparison?
Not satisfied Jerry? Look at some other stats from Jim’s tenure:
- 39-84 overall head coaching record (31.7% winning percentage)
- 2-23 vs. teams over .500 during 2019-20 season
- 0-21 vs. top-eight Eastern Conference teams during 2019-20 season
- Longest winning streak during 2019-20 season: 2
As of now, not making a decision on Jim’s future is a good move from your top two basketball leads. There is no rush to make one as the status of the regular season is still up in the air.
But let me be clear, Jerry, if Jim Boylen is retained, not only will I be severely disappointed with Arturas and Marc, but I know where the buck will stop — with you. You will lose this fanbase in the blink of an eye. Let your new basketball leads do their job.