Reinsdorf Calls Boylen 'Right Person' For Bulls

"He cares a lot," Michael Reinsdorf says of Jim Boylen. "He's got a plan."

Mully & Haugh Show
May 13, 2019 - 9:08 am
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(670 The Score) Explaining the Bulls' decision to extend the contract of coach Jim Boylen on May 3 after a rocky 22-win season, president Michael Reinsdorf cited Boylen's work ethic and willingness to continue to learn his craft and collaborate with others.

"We knew during, toward the end of the season that Jim was the right person for us," Reinsdorf said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Monday morning in his first public comments regarding Boylen's extension. "We had enough experience with him. It was just a matter of getting the contract done. I'm happy with Jim. I feel like he has put 100 percent effort behind coaching. I think he has worked his way up to the role that he's playing right now as coach of the Chicago Bulls. He's had almost every job there is in coaching, whether it's through college or the NBA. He cares a lot. He's got a plan. And he also recognizes that he doesn't always have all the answers. That's why I really the fact that he spends time with other coaches. Last summer, I know he went out and met with Phil Jackson for a couple days. He's already met with some other NBA coaches this year."

Paxson had previously emphasized Boylen's communication skills and ability to hold players accountable to establish what they view as a quality culture as a driving force for the Bulls' belief in Boylen. Reinsdorf specifically pointed out how Boylen has formed a strong relationship with Doug Collins, a former Bulls coach and current advisor for the organization.

"He spends a lot of time with Jim talking about coaching, looking at different situations that have come up," Reinsdorf said. "And Jim is really taken to Doug, and they spend a lot of time together. When I have a guy like Doug Collins say, 'Hey, Jim really gets it. He's the right person.' It makes me feel really good. Because obviously, that's how we feel. That's how (executives) John Paxson feels and Gar Forman. When you have someone like Doug who has actually coached in the game for a lot of years, that means a lot to me."

Boylen led the Bulls to a 17-41 mark after being promoted on Dec. 3 following the firing of Fred Hoiberg. It marked his first head coaching job in the NBA, and it was tumultuous at the start. 

In Boylen's seventh day on the job, several players raised the idea of boycotting a practice that was called following a back-to-back set of games, a development that led to frustrations being aired on long team meetings. The episode drew national notoriety for the organization.

The Bulls grew from there, but their play often remained poor and inconsistent. Their hope is to be more competitive in 2019-'20, with Paxson citing his season-ending news conference at a desire to be "relevant" next season. 

To do so, the Bulls need to add to a roster that lacks depth. They can do so through free agency and the draft. Where Chicago selects in the draft will be determined at the lottery in Chicago on Tuesday evening. The Bulls have a 12.5 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick and about a 48 percent chance of landing a top-four pick.

Some talent evaluators view this as a three-player draft in Duke forward Zion Williamson, Duke wing R.J. Barrett and Murray State point guard Ja Morant, but Reinsdorf believes it goes deeper than that.

"No matter where we end up in the draft, I would expect that we would get a quality player," Reinsdorf said.