Jim Boylen is still the coach of the Bulls, and it sure looks like the seeds are being planted to possibly keep him. If Daniel Gafford’s recent comments about Boylen are any indication, he wouldn’t be too thrilled about that.
During an NBA 2K Twitch stream on Monday, the rookie was asked if he liked Boylen. The response was pretty telling:
“He’s alright. I don’t like him a lot, but he’s ok. He’s got some things he can work on. Got some things he could get better at, as a person and as a coach. But I’m not gonna hate on him, not gonna hate the man. But, you know …”
Here’s the video:
Daniel Gafford sounds off on Jim Boylen pic.twitter.com/cxwZVfRD2i— Ahn Fire Digital (@AhnFireDigital) July 21, 2020
While it’s kind of surprising that a rookie just came out and said this, it’s not surprising that Gafford isn’t Boylen’s biggest fan. The youngster was stapled to the bench to start the season despite the Bulls’ slow start and Luke Kornet’s awfulness, only to make a big splash in his first real action against the Bucks in mid-November. Gafford didn’t exactly get consistent minutes after that, though, and there was that whole weird no-timeout deal when he suffered an ankle injury in the middle of the game against Dallas.
A rookie having issues with his coach isn’t exactly big news in a vacuum, but Gafford is just the latest Bull to take issue with Boylen’s coaching:
- Zach LaVine’s differences with Boylen are well-documented at this point, and his most recent comments were lukewarm at best.
- Lauri Markkanen was frustrated with his role all season and recently noted on a Finnish podcast that his touches were way down. He clearly seemed to disagree with Boylen’s advice on how to get more touches (get more rebounds and lead the fast break).
- Wendell Carter Jr. chuckled before admitting at All-Star Weekend he didn’t really get along Boylen when he first took over as head coach. While Carter hedged and said he has warmed up to him, he also busted out laughing at an event when a fan yelled “Fire Boylen” and liked a tweet criticizing Boylen’s philosophy earlier in the season. Carter’s usage has come under question.
- Thaddeus Young grumbled about his role and then flat-out said later in the season what the Bulls pitched to him in free agency was bogus. Like LaVine, Young gave a diplomatic answer about Boylen in June.
- Tomas Satoransky has said he’d like Boylen back, but he has also questioned the coach’s substitution patterns and desire to be a control freak.
- Denzel Valentine was in and out of Boylen’s doghouse and clearly wasn’t happy almost all season. When asked about Boylen’s job status in March, Valentine basically shrugged his shoulders and said “it is what it is.”
Then, as part of intelligence-gathering by the new Karnisovas regime in early May, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley reported that multiple key players criticized Boylen.