It’s been a tough month for the Chicago Bulls. Amid a dreadful start to the season, the front office fired Fred Hoiberg and replaced him with assistant Jim Boylen in an effort to shake things up on a team that hadn’t shown many signs of progress in the early going.
But Boylen’s tenure immediately got off to a dubious start as his hard-nosed approach alienated an already disgruntled locker room to the point that they organized what they’re calling a leadership committee in an effort to improve communication between players, coaches, and executives.
If that wasn’t bad enough, tensions spilled out onto the court earlier this week during a blowout loss to the Thunder on Monday night, with word coming down from league offices today that Robin Lopez, Jerami Grant, and Kris Dunn all got hit with hefty fines for their part in an altercation that got ugly fast.
To add injury to insult, Boylen announced via ESPN on Wednesday that Zach LaVine had suffered a strained ligament in his ankle and would be out 2-4 weeks. So in an effort to raise morale, Boylen got out there with his team at practice to do some push-ups.
Boylen’s rigorous practices were, at least early on, a big source of the animosity with his players, as he has reportedly subjected them to grueling 2-3 hours workouts following tough losses and back-to-back games in recent weeks.
Boylen has a reputation for his physically demanding style and iron-fisted rule, which for better or worse is increasingly out of vogue in the modern NBA. None of it seems to bode well for his long-term future with the franchise, and if things continue down their current path, it’ll only be a matter of time before something has to give.