The draft lottery is tomorrow, and even though it’s literally entirely luck-driven, there looks to still be ‘analysis’ surrounding the event. Or at least an opportunity to take a look at a team that everyone long-since stopped caring about.
So while the Bulls disastrous coaching non-search didn’t merit any media appearance, Bulls owner’s son Michael Reinsdorf called in to radio today on flagship station 670 The Score’s morning show.
He didn’t really say much new about Jim Boylen, who in a still-staggering development not only is going to be retained but received a new longer contract. That’s probably because the owner’s son clumsily said it all late last season, and nothing changed his mind since!
We knew during, toward the end of the season that Jim was the right person for us. We had enough experience with him. It was just a matter of getting the contract done. I’m happy with Jim. I feel like he has put 100 percent effort behind coaching...he cares a lot.
This has been par for the course when actually trying to defend this hire. The son of the guy who can actually make decisions was Paxson-ian in his insistence that fans can’t see how Boylen is actually good.
Boylen is also a scrappy up-and-comer, which is what you want to hear from a big market ‘glamour’ franchise.
I think he has worked his way up to the role that he’s playing right now as coach of the Chicago Bulls. He’s had almost every job there is in coaching, whether it’s through college or the NBA.
And he also recognizes that he doesn’t always have all the answers. That’s why I really the fact that he spends time with other coaches. Last summer, I know he went out and met with Phil Jackson for a couple days. He’s already met with some other NBA coaches this year.
Those talks include Doug Collins, who was unceremoniously run out of his last franchise for being behind the times, but this is a positive to the beneficiary of the Reinsdorf trust.
“[Doug] spends a lot of time with Jim talking about coaching, looking at different situations that have come up. And Jim is really taken to Doug, and they spend a lot of time together. When I have a guy like Doug Collins say, ‘Hey, Jim really gets it. He’s the right person.’ It makes me feel really good. Because obviously, that’s how we feel. That’s how (executives) John Paxson feels and Gar Forman. When you have someone like Doug who has actually coached in the game for a lot of years, that means a lot to me.”
As we’ve seen, Jim Boylen may not know it all but knows enough to play the game of NBA dinosaur feedback loop. It’s not hard to see how someone with no NBA decision-making history (and thankfully no responsibility yet!) would be swayed. Heck, the owner’s ward is still convinced GarPax are right for the job because...Derrick Rose’s injury put him in a coma for 8 years?
But what the son of an sports owner (maybe) knows more about is ticket sales. And, incredibly, Jim Boylen’s “care factor” extends to this.
We had the truly wild anecdote before the end of the season where lil’ ‘dorf praised Boylen for meeting with season ticket holders 45 minutes before a damned game. Then this week KC Johnson of the Tribune had a feature on the Bulls using drastic measures (with notably more resources assigned to premium ticket holders than, say, pro scouting) to retain these significant financial commitments, using Boylen himself to meet at a practice and even go out to lunch with these on-the-fence patrons.
So that’s all pretty embarrassing!
But maybe there’s a silver lining in that the Bulls are feeling this desperate to go to such measures, and anecdotally ticket sales are sluggish? Not incentivized enough to ask dad to make a meaningful change and get some actual new perspective and self-analysis on this disaster, of course.
Just one more day until this whole deal is bailed out through luck as the Bulls win the top pick. It’d be pretty Bulls-y if that happened. It’d be even better if everyone involved had an epiphany that they only ‘achived’ this through ineptitude and they can’t seriously see themselves being able to handle the pressure of building a team around Zion Williamson and they all quit. They can stick around as special advisors to ownership for a few more lunches.