In case you missed it before the Kings game last night, the Jim Boylen versus mutinous Bulls story got even more convoluted as Boylen admitted he was lying about his earlier declaration of his intent for a hard practice Sunday. Or lying about who actually initiated cancelling practice, or lying about changing his own mind, or when he changed his mind, whatever. It’s hard to keep track even when he’s wearing his smart-looking glasses.
The point is, despite any half-hearted posturing indicating otherwise, Boylen is backtracking, the team is not unified behind him, and he’s already in danger of losing the locker room. Heck he may have lost them already.
On multiple occasions in his eventful first week on the job, Jim Boylen has insisted what he says as coach “isn’t a negotiation.”
Nevertheless, Boylen will take input to inform his decision making, a process made more formal by his idea to form a leadership committee composed of “a sparkling of the layers of our team.”
“I want the leadership group because they will have input on what we do and how we operate,” Boylen said Tuesday at the Advocate Center. “It doesn’t mean that I’m not the head coach and they’re the players. But they’re going to be respected as men at this level.
“We had a situation over the weekend that could’ve been handled by a leadership group walking into my office and saying, ‘You know what, Coach? This is how we feel today. What do you think?’ That was the teaching moment and the moment we built on (Tuesday) morning. We got a good group of guys and a good leadership group. I’m juiced, man. I’m jacked up about it.”
Totally juiced and jacked. There’s even more #JimBoylenSaysStuff in that article, and I’m starting to think Jim Boylen isn’t the communication mastermind that GarPax led us to believe...
From the players side, this is interestingly looking to come from Zach LaVine. While earliest reports only had LaVine leading the eventual meeting with Justin Holiday, and detailing that Robin Lopez and Lauri Markkanen kept the team from outright boycotting the facility, it’s now apparent that it was LaVine originating the pushback on Boylen’s methods
LaVine said he wouldn’t characterize the interaction as an apology, but rather he had to “elaborate on thoughts.”
”You just want to be real with people,” LaVine told ESPN. “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.”
He continued: “This is a business, this isn’t a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice.”
Maybe more importantly than the practice stuff to LaVine is how Boylen is treating the team in the media.
[LaVine, on Sunday] “I don’t think the players’ toughness should ever be questioned.”
He doubled down on that sentiment Tuesday. “You can’t ever question how hard I work and how much the game means to me”
And it appears to have worked, as Boylen is clearly backing down even while bellowing the support he has from management and ownership. The Bulls and this new bizarre and manufactured ‘leadership’ structure today head on a real team-building exercise to Mexico City where they’ll play the Magic on Thursday.