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the Bulls just gained three and a half million reasons to do a real coaching search

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reportedly, will just stick with Boylen

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Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Failed* former Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg has gotten another job through his friends and family connections, this time with the University of Nebraska.

*it’s staggering the lack of accountability GarPax, especially Gar given that ‘relationship’, showed in the Hoiberg hire. They not only didn’t do any search before finding Fred, they actively undermined the successful incumbent coach to hire the guy. That’s their prerogative, sure, they’re in the building and know things we don’t...but doesn’t operating with that process put more risk toward actually being right? Apparently not!

That’s significant news for Bulls ownership, as though that isn’t an NBA head coaching job, apparently (and thanks to KC Johnson for finding the details) there is offset language where the Bulls now save ~$3.5m in what they were still obligated to pay Hoiberg.

For those (and this includes anybody with a functioning brain and/or knowledge of Bulls business practices) that reasoned the Bulls were insisting on sticking with Hoiberg’s replacement Jim Boylen due to the money owed to both, this is a positive development. Between what’s left for Hoiberg and Boylen’s raise for next season, it’s a little over 3 million for the head coach. (I believe the assistants are paid with year-round parking vouchers)

So now it becomes more of a question of whether the Bulls are still cheap enough to indeed stick with Coach RumHam, or they’re more delusional in thinking that promotion is going great...

Hoiberg’s agreement has no bearing on Jim Boylen’s future as Bulls coach, a source said...nothing has changed as far as management’s and ownership’s positive view of Boylen’s teaching habits in practice and holding players accountable

Notice those two metrics in evaluation are ones that we can’t see. Conveniently for the guys lying to the fans and their boss’s son, it’s only viewable if you’re in their building.

For the rest of us, the actual results of the Boylen era that we have as evidence (on the court, in real-ish games) do not indicate someone deserving of keeping the role. This isn’t meant to be the ‘why Boylen should be fired’ post, though that may be something we never do as it’s so obvious. The Bulls showed mostly regression versus what Hoiberg was able to do, starting with outright embarrassment, then some flukey good play, then back to garbage again. And Boylen only makes things look worse when his public interactions consist nearly exclusively of meathead platitudes (unless you’re Joe Cowley, then this is a feature). Even if Boylen isn’t as big of an idiot as he sounds (he does seem to know basketball) it’s not good that he chooses to sound like one every day.

Sticking with Boylen is, frankly, a total slap in the face from the Bulls. Made even more slappy if the money is less of an issue now. This would make yet another coach hired where there was no actual search done. Somehow, the crucial teacher of this rebuild who will succeed where former teacher-type Fred Hoiberg didn’t, just happened to be in their building? and under (low) contract?

Will John Paxson even count this as one of his coaches hired? Or will it disappear in the owner’s son’s memory-hole like Paxson’s number of rebuilds?

The Bulls have had a history of not valuing coaching (though that makes the exorbitant Hoiberg contract even stranger, it pays to have friends in high places!), but you’d figure they’d feel a bit differently when they’re saving so much on payroll (sorry, ‘rebuilding’) and with such a young team. Next year looks to be a total waste if they’re really going to stick with a cut-rate coach on a 1-year deal.

It’s just yet another example of this not being a big market, first class franchise. I’m already so unbelievably mad at the coming end-of-season-presser: where GarPax are going to unconvincingly mumble through justification of saying a not-terrible stretch of five weeks in NBA post-deadline clusterfuckery made this year an actual success, and Jim needs a training camp with the kids, and “we feel really good about that”. Even writing in predictive GarPax prose is driving me nuts. I only wish the team cared nearly as much about their performance as I do about their messaging.