Jim Boylen’s first season as head coach of the Chicago Bulls has been, well, let’s just say interesting.
After taking over for Fred Hoiberg after the ex-Iowa State coach was fired, Boylen clashed with his players over what they felt was too aggressive an approach to practices, which initially were hours long and often took place the day after games, which in the NBA is customarily for rest and maybe film work. That led to the creation of a leadership committee in Chicago, to address those issues and more.
While it’s seemed as though Boylen has smoothed things over with his team, he takes an approach to coaching that is not often seen in the NBA and has, at times, clashed with his opposing coach. He and Doc Rivers were ejected at the same time recently after getting into it on the sidelines, and in Phoenix on Monday, he found himself getting under the skin of Suns rookie coach Igor Kokoskov.
With the Bulls up big late, Boylen called a late timeout to draw up an ATO play — something he’s done in late game situations a lot this year, often down big, to get his team in-game ATO reps. Kokoskov wasn’t a fan of that move and had his team intentionally foul the Bulls to blow the play up and then he left the court before the final buzzer, leaving Boylen with no one to do the customary coach wave to at the end.