Bernstein: Please, No More Boylen Bulls

The Bulls' season might not be done, but Jim Boylen's tenure needs to be.

Dan Bernstein
July 02, 2020 - 6:06 pm
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(670 The Score) The Jim Boylen-led Bulls are the zombie that won’t die, still shambling around in search of brains.

What did we do to deserve this, a reported Chicago-based reanimation of the season for the eight NBA teams that weren't included in the Orlando playoff bubble? Is 2020 not historically awful enough yet? A deadly and uncontrolled virus, a spate of racist cops and Karens, invasive killer hornets and now more timeouts taken when down 15 points with 30 seconds left just so Adam Mokoka can better understand a poorly designed baseline inbounds play in a meaningless game?

Make it stop. 

This does little to get the Bulls closer to winning a title, not with Boylen still minding his embarrassing Advocate Center punch clock, his way of sending the message that he sees his players still as mere factory labor. A recent ESPN report speculated that Bulls ownership would be reluctant to let him go, not wanting to pay two coaches despite his $1.6 million salary being a pittance compared to his much more accomplished peers. The only appropriate responses to that news are bewilderment, fury or violent projectile vomiting. Perhaps all three. 

If newly installed executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas expects any kind of honeymoon here, he has to understand that a coaching change isn't some hard call, worthy of solemn deliberation and an extended observational timetable. We've been assured by many we trust that he and general manager Marc Eversley are two of the smartest young executives in the league, but every day that goes by without a new head coach only makes us question their judgment and, in turn, our level of confidence that they know what they're doing. 

Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times has reported that player feedback on Boylen has already been taken under strong advisement by Karnisovas, particularly the opinion of Zach Lavine. One can only imagine the specifics of that report, considering the highlight reel we already have of Lavine’s reactions: the laughter and eye-rolls on the bench, looking past and around Boylen during timeouts and so many thinly veiled postgame comments that couldn’t have been clearer.

The new regime has stated firmly that the new Bulls culture will be one of and about players over all, a promise undermined if this cranks back up with their confused and anachronistic disciplinarian still screaming on the sidelines. If Adrian Griffin or Ime Udoka isn't yet contractually available, that’s one thing, but choosing to continue with Boylen over a hand-picked interim alternative is another, especially for the first action on their watch.

Moving away from Boylen as action of any kind resumes should have nothing to do with the timing of the Bulls' preferred permanent successor. It should be something any intelligent front office would want to do because they see what we see. 

If they don’t, we’re in trouble. 

Dan Bernstein is the host of the Dan Bernstein Show on middays from 9 a.m. until noon on 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.