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Bulls part ways with coach Jim Boylen

The Chicago Bulls have been busy in the offseason remodeling their front office and those changes affected the team’s coaching ranks next.

Chicago Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas announced Friday that Jim Boylen has been relieved of his duties as coach.

Boylen came to Chicago as an associate head coach during the 2015-16 season and was named the team’s 23rd head coach on Dec. 3, 2018. During his time at the helm of the Bulls, he compiled an overall record of 39-84 (.317). The only Bulls coach with a worse record than Boylen is Tim Floyd (49-190).

Per the team, a coaching search for his replacement will begin immediately.

“After doing a comprehensive evaluation and giving the process the time it deserved, I ultimately decided that a fresh approach and evolution in leadership was necessary,” Karnisovas said in a statement Friday. “This was a very difficult decision, but it is time for our franchise to take that next step as we move in a new direction and era of Chicago Bulls basketball.

“Jim is a great human being that cares deeply about this organization and the game of basketball. I want to thank him for his professionalism and commitment to the franchise.”

Chicago was left out of the NBA season restart in Orlando and has missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, a tough stretch for a franchise whose dominance in the 1990s was chronicled in the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance.”

The Bulls overhauled their front office when they hired Karnisovas as executive vice president of basketball operations in April and Marc Eversley as general manager a few weeks later. As of early June, Karnisovas had not met in person with Boylen.

“No one could question Jim’s passion for our team and our organization,” Bulls President and Chief Operating Officer said in a statement Friday. “We sincerely appreciate his tireless efforts and contributions during his time with the Bulls, and we wish him and his family the very best.”

The Bulls came into the season hoping to contend for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But the plan did not come to fruition.

Chicago was 22-43 before play was stopped in March and quite a bit has changed since the team walked off the court for the final time. John Paxson, a link to the franchise’s glory years, moved into an advisory role after leading basketball operations for 17 years, and Gar Forman was fired as general manager.

No matter who is coaching, the Bulls need to get more out of Lauri Markkanen. The 7-footer from Finland averaged 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds, down from 18.7 and 9.0 the previous season.

“I spoke to him about last year,” Karnisovas said. “He’s eager to get back to the gym and improve. He was disappointed, obviously, by the overall result. Every player wants to win. He’s about winning, as well. Our objective is to get the best version of Lauri next year.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.