Reports: Bulls feel aftereffects from 56-point loss
From NBA media reports
The Chicago Bulls continue to adjust to life under new coach Jim Boylen, according to reports from Yahoo Sports and ESPN.
After the team lost to the Boston Celtics by 56 points on Saturday, coach Boylen called for a team practice on Sunday. This reportedly caused issues in the Bulls locker room because practice is rarely held after back-to-back games. According to Vincent Goodwill and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, some of the players contacted the National Basketball Players Association on Sunday to call out what they felt were “extreme tactics” from coach Boylen.
Here’s more from Goodwill and Haynes on the reported situation in Chicago:
After taking the helm from fired coach Fred Hoiberg on Monday, Boylen held three two-and-a-half-hour practices in his first week that included extra wind sprints and players doing military-style pushups. Calling for another lengthy practice after the back-to-back led to a near-mutiny and caused the players to reach out to the union, sources said.
Boylen had already gotten under his players’ skin by issuing the ultimate indignity: subbing out all five players on the floor twice in Saturday’s loss. In the first half, the Bulls fell behind 17-0, so the full lineup change was understandable.
In the second half, the Bulls had only been outscored 5-3 when Boylen subbed everyone out and the players felt embarrassed.
Calling for a Sunday practice was apparently the last straw.
After an initial pushback to the Sunday practice, the Bulls showed up on Sunday and held a two-hour meeting led by Zach LaVine and Justin Holiday, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.
“We were very, very honest with one another; very direct,” rookie Wendell Carter Jr. said.
On Monday, coach Boylen pushed back against the reports that the team didn’t want to practice.
“That’s not true that they did not want to have practice,” Boylen said after shootaround on Monday. “The truth is we had a couple guys that thought a Sunday practice was excessive after the week we had. And they have to trust me that if I bring them in here to practice, I’m going to manage their legs and manage what we’re going to do. They didn’t understand that. So I explained to them you have to trust me that I’m going to do what’s best for this team.”
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) December 10, 2018
The Bulls, with a record of 6-21, will have a chance to get back on track against the Sacramento Kings tonight (8 ET, NBA League Pass).