Zach LaVine is a pretty chill guy.
Each interview reveals this even when he’s just mostly going through the motions in postgame scrums. A recent appearance on the The Lowe Post with ESPN’s Zach Lowe gives him an opportunity to open up, speak truthfully, and tell some good stories.
Here are some of the highlights from the interview.
- LaVine on the infamous near-mutiny last season:
“Both the coaches and the players needed to get something off their chest. I think it was a good thing to happen. As bad as it looked it was a good thing to happen because it brought us closer. Everybody was able to tell the truth, speak from the heart [whether] it was good or bad and it helped.”
LaVine expounded on the situation, saying that he and the other players weren’t seeing eye-to-eye with Boylen about how things were being done, accountability, and ground rules, and that’s where the tension stemmed from.
- Eventually, LaVine warmed up to Boylen:
“I didn’t understand how much he cares. He genuinely cares about his players.”
- Boylen inspires the team with “Men in Black” clips and compares LaVine to one of the characters from the movie:
“I call the most athletic players in the NBA the cephalopod.”
- LaVine said he wasn’t bothered by the fact that the Chicago Bulls let him test restricted free agency and sign an offer sheet with the Sacramento Kings before matching it.
- When he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the coaches had to disable his key card to the gym after a certain hour because he would go shoot late at night after games. So, he put a hoop in his house so he could shoot more; he’d set it to like six feet and then put it up on the stairs so it was at 10 feet.
- LaVine told a team in a pre-draft interview he’d be an All-Star by his second year. Didn’t happen, but got to love the confidence.
- LaVine on his much-maligned defense:
“I think it’s always been my downfall. Once you get someone saying something about you, it’s hard to get rid of that narrative. So I almost have to like shut it up. As good as I think I am offensively, there’s no reason why I can’t be that good defensively. I feel like I have all the tools. I just need to put my mind to it.”
LaVine acknowledges he isn’t a good off-the-ball defender, but thinks he’s good on the ball. He thinks anybody can be a good defender, but they just have to set their mind to it. He said trusting his teammates and the defensive system is the key for him to improve as an off-the-ball defender.
- He claims the Bulls don’t have an analytics department.
- LaVine on the difficulty of choosing which dunk to do on breakaways:
“Sometimes on fast breaks, I don’t know what to do. So, I’ll just randomly do it [a crazy dunk] when I dunk.”
- He talked about the Bulls’ leadership committee and seemed a little annoyed by the question like he knew people make fun of it and he didn’t want to talk about it. He had a difficult time explaining what they actually do. Thaddeus Young, Otto Porter Jr., and Lauri Markkanen join him as the 2019-2020 members of the leadership committee.
- According to LaVine, the best athlete on the team besides him is Shaquille Harrison.
- A+ Kevin Garnett stories at the end of the podcast.