The Jim Boylen pay-raise story was news-y in its timing and that Boylen himself continues to talk like a total boob while coaching like one too. What we should all be vigilant for is making sure this guy isn’t still the coach next year because the Bulls are cheap.
Every day I actually look forward to Boylen-time, the NBA equivalent of when Homer Simpson found those glasses in the toilet and was thought to look smart. He has some greatest hits already like “‘Bulls’ across the chest” (not a thing, this franchise is a joke known as the team of Paxson not the team of Jordan) or just yesterday citing The Bible in relaying a story about Robin Lopez and Kris Dunn getting ‘chippy’ in practice. Remember the leadership committee? That’s apparently such a known joke that nobody even bothers to ask about it when members leave the team.
There’s also, of course, the more pressing concern of Boylen’s actual game and development strategy. Road-dogging the Bulls into the toilet to where the defense isn’t even improved anymore, and the retrograde offensive philosophy is not only sucking any entertainment factor from this season but stagnating development of the purportedly-prized core players.
I get the decision to give Boylen a shot when it comes to a midseason coaching change, but turns out he’s trash. OK, fine, throw that decision on the “in the past, not going to worry about it” pile that John Paxson likes to not-reflect on.
But reading stuff like this, ‘informed speculation’ from those closest to the franchise, is stomach-turning:
The Bulls are still paying Fred Hoiberg. Boylen also is under contract through next season. Beyond how much management and ownership think Boylen is the right voice at this time, I don’t see the Reinsdorfs paying three head coaches next season.
Board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has never been a fan of handing out dead money to former coaches, let alone paying two coaches. So it’s hard to imagine Boylen being removed at the end of the season and the Bulls taking on the salary of a new hire, as well.
I don’t mean to say they’re wrong for writing it, I’m saying it’s total bullshit that this is even suggested as assumed behavior!
It’s unacceptable that the Chicago Bulls, who despite being a joke do make and have a ton of money, will settle on their head coaching position due to finances. That’s whether or not Fred Hoiberg’s contract is offset next season, or regardless of Jim Boylen’s raise.
There’s no salary cap on coaches. The Bulls have been brazenly saving money on payroll and gaining cash considerations in the name of flexibility and ‘the rebuild’. They have Paxson’s very small staff likely taking up a lot fewer resources than most basketball operations departments. They don’t get to also save money on friggin’ coaching when this is the prime development time for these supposedly-precious young players. Even if GarPax get bailed out by the lottery like they did ten years ago, do we want Zion Williamson going for push-up records for dime-store General Patton?
In the wake of the Boylen raise news, KC put out this pretty smarmy stuff about why we shouldn’t actually care. But in that mostly-bad column - the Mike D’Antoni fiasco was actually a sign of a good coaching search? - was at least this bit:
Boylen’s bump isn’t prohibitive enough — he’ll likely be the lowest-paid head coach in 2019-20 — for the franchise to fire him if ownership and management have an unexpected change of heart.
So that’s good news if indeed the financial commitment to Hoi+Boy doesn’t handcuff a gold-mine of a sports team. They should already have a list of replacements in mind and conduct an actual coaching search this offseason. But then I guess we should be even more frightened that they think Boylen is actually fine.