Calling the Chicago Bulls a mess right now is a bit of an understatement. Whether it’s their performances on the court or the drama that has surrounded the franchise this season, both because of the firing of Fred Hoiberg and everything that has happened in the days since then because of Jim Boylen’s appointment.
Boylen came in with the hopes of dropping the hammer on the team after Hoiberg, who was never exactly the most imposing guy, to the point that he used the phrase “shock and awe,” which George W. Bush famously used while describing the opening movements of the Iraq War. It’s led to things like Boylen pulling the starters en route to the worst loss in franchise history because he wanted to put them through a two-hour practice the following day, only said practice would never happen, because players nearly revolted at how he’s running things with an iron fist. Boylen has coached four games, and so far, it’s gone about as poorly as you can imagine.
It’s gotten to be so bad that Zach LaVine felt he needed to say something to his coach away from his teammates. On the heels of the two meetings that occurred on Sunday — the second of which led to the idea of forming a leadership committee — LaVine and Boylen spoke 1-on-1 to clear the air, according to Malika Andrews and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
“You just want to be real with people,” LaVine said. “There shouldn’t be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them.
“This is a business, this isn’t a dictatorship,” LaVine continued. “We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice.”
The word “dictatorship” popping up is rather harsh, but LaVine did also note that a big takeaway from his conversation with Boylen was “that we both care a lot.” It’s not something that’ll resolve all the problems in Chicago, especially the ones that stem from the Bulls struggling to be competitive on the floor, but sometimes finding common ground and using that as a starting point can be a good thing in the long run. The question that lingers, though, is whether that’ll matter unless the Bulls can get on the right track sometime soon.