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Zach LaVine tells Shams he’s not having a good time here

Zach LaVine is trying to put pressure on the organization, like a real superstar, adorable!

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Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Shams Charania of The Athletic dropped ‘news’ surrounding the Bulls this afternoon, and I use derisive quotes because it was pretty much him doing what he does: talking with Klutch agency (who represent Zach LaVine) and jotting down what those parties wanted fans to see.

So I can safely say any sources granted anonymity is actually Zach LaVine. In this article, the vague takeaway is “LaVine and the Bulls are not seeing eye-to-eye”. But more specifically, “there’s also been increased skepticism [told to me from Zach LaVine] about the head coach and the coaching staff.”

As Shams reminds us right after, Donovan is not going anywhere anytime soon because he received a contract extension secretly in the offseason. I wonder if this was a secret to the players too, because they’ve sure gone to shit ever since it was leaked.

This would be a concerning impasse of star player and coach...if Zach LaVine was actually expected to be a superstar.

Instead, LaVine earned his max contract not by being a superstar, but by being a very good scorer in his prime. It does not designate franchise player, especially when there is a better one already on the team in DeMar DeRozan. This article details how that relationship is fine personally but not great on the court. But it doesn’t stop there, and instead starts to overstep by suggesting LaVine is good enough to force a choice between the two, and/or the coaching needs to be improved upon to get these players to work together better on the court.

This implication would make more sense in an alternate reality where LaVine got his max contract, stayed elite at scoring, and became a more well-rounded player to become a true superstar.

Instead, Zach’s saying we’re all trying to find the guy who did this:

A month ago, LaVine and Donovan had a pretty public disagreement over a late-game benching when LaVine was playing like crap. Zach insisted he was the kind of player who should always be allowed to shoot out of whatever slump he’s in.

I sided with Donovan there because LaVine is simply not that player this year: Just because you have the max contract doesn’t mean you are a max player, you are only guaranteed the other trappings like the money and a direct line to Shams’s Twitter followers.

There is a point to be made that Donovan isn’t doing enough to coach the differing strengths on offense between DeRozan and LaVine.

But ultimately, that shouldn’t come from LaVine, and this is altogether not that significant of a beef because they’re not that significant of talents. Billy isn’t that good of a coach, and his style is star-friendly because he kind of lets them do what they want. And Zach LaVine isn’t that good of a star player to throw blame on others for “his” team’s struggles.