Cowley: Bulls' Decision Is 'All But Made' On Boylen

"It's just a matter of tact," Joe Cowley says of the decision awaiting the Bulls.

Dan Bernstein Show
May 26, 2020 - 11:16 am
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(670 The Score) The Bulls have "all but made" the decision to fire coach Jim Boylen, Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times said on the Dan Bernstein Show on Tuesday morning.

Over the holiday weekend, Cowley reported that mindset for the Bulls in an article in the Sun-Times.

"Here's what's going on behind the scenes from people I've talked to and sources I've talked to -- they're ready to move on from Jim Boylen," Cowley said on 670 The Score. "Now, the thing in this is timing and how to do this."

The reason for the delay on the Bulls' decision remains what it has been the entire time -- the suspension of the NBA season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cowley said. The Bulls want a resolution on the rest of the season before officially making a decision on Boylen's future.

The NBA is moving closer to a return with all teams in line to gather and play at Disney World Resort near Orlando, but there's a fair chance that teams in non-playoff positions won't return to action as the league looks to minimize the risk from the coronavirus. At 22-43 and sitting in 11th in the East, the Bulls wouldn't be invited to a resumption of play if the NBA doesn't want to conduct any more regular-season games and if it holds anything less than a 24-team restart for the playoffs.

So that leaves new Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley still waiting to reveal Boylen's fate.

"If you're Jim Boylen, the best-case scenario for you is there's somehow a play-in tournament with all the teams and he goes on a deep run and really impresses his bosses and somehow the players show some joy," Cowley said. "That's Jim Boylen's best-case scenario. The problem is it's probably not going to work that way when you look at the logistics of the timing of how this thing has to be spaced out and all the moving parts that are being brought to Orlando and the fact that they probably want to have as few of people to keep an eye on as possible. 

"So what you have with this front office is they have to say, 'We've talked to the players. We've publicly come out and said the two things that are most important to us are players first and winning.' Jim Boylen doesn't check either of those boxes. He just doesn't, fair or unfair. He's throwing his job on, 'Well, I did what was asked of me. I established an identity. They wanted a defensive identity, and I did that.'

"From the people I talk to, the decision is all but made. This is just (Bulls management) trying to say, 'We gave him the fairest look, as small as the sample size was, we watched how he interacted with the players. We watched how he coached, if it is five games or 15 games or however the format is going to be and we just don't think it's good enough. And we respect that Michael Reinsdorf and Jerry Reinsdorf and John Paxson like this guy, but we're going to go ahead and move on from him.' That's the ideal situation for how they want this handled. It's just a matter of tact right now. The decision is made. It's just a matter of tact and we are giving every department a fair shake and everybody a fair chance if their contract wasn't up (yet)."

Boylen has endured a tumultuous tenure, compiling a 39-84 record in leading the Bulls across parts of two seasons. His .317 winning percentage is the second-worst of any coach in Bulls franchise history, trailing only Tim Floyd.