Zach LaVine, Jim Boylen Address Trust Issue

Head coach Jim Boylen met with Zach LaVine today after the Bulls’ star complained about a lack of trust in last night’s game, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

In comments relayed by Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, LaVine believed he was being singled out when Boylen removed him from Friday’s game after Miami built a 13-0 lead in the first 3:27. It was the latest in a series of slow starts that have contributed to Chicago’s disappointing 5-11 record.

“I thought, ‘He needs a break,’” Boylen said to reporters. “I thought he needed to come in and think about it. I felt there were some defensive mistakes that didn’t need to be made. I thought he needed to come over and think about it for a minute.”

But that’s not how it was interpreted by LaVine, who has experienced an uneven relationship with Boylen since he took over as head coach last December. LaVine saw the move as a personal slight and an indication that he doesn’t have the trust of the coaching staff.

“I feel I earned that trust, but I guess he feels differently,” LaVine said. “Other players around the league — and everybody’s situation isn’t the same — I feel other players around the league have that trust. I guess we haven’t got there.”

Along with the team’s poor record, it has been a difficult season on a personal level for LaVine, who doesn’t look comfortable in a new system that emphasizes three-point shooting. After putting up career-high numbers last year with 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per night, LaVine’s scoring average has fallen to 19.8 PPG this season and his shooting percentage from the field has dropped to 40.9%.

LaVine said he’s “trying my best” to maintain a good relationship with Boylen, but incidents like Friday’s make it challenging.

“I’m playing my minutes and trying to do the best I can do,” LaVine said. “It’s tough, especially when you’re in a rut. If he doesn’t trust me, it’s hard to trust someone who doesn’t trust you.”

Boylen told Johnson that he and LaVine had a “great talk” about the situation today and they share the “same goals” for the team. He added that “everything was explained” about what happened last night and LaVine was shown clips of the defensive mistakes that led to his brief benching. Boylen added that trust isn’t an issue (Twitter link).

LaVine said he was candid with Boylen in their meeting, stating, “I let him know how I felt. We had a misunderstanding. We still have a lot to work on as a team — personal, coaching. We all have to be accountable for our actions.” (Twitter link).

After being told that Boylen is holding him to a higher standard because he cares for him, LaVine responded, “That’s what he told me. To each his own. If that’s how he feels he has to coach me, that’s his prerogative. I can be coached any way. I don’t backlash a lot (Twitter link)But when I feel disrespected, sometimes I have to stand up for myself. We talked about the offense, the defense, personal stuff. I think it was good. We both want to win. If I’m not doing as good as I can do, it’s not gonna be good for team (Twitter link).

“If he feels he has to get on me to help that, I’m all for that. I want to be a winning guy. I haven’t won anything in the NBA. That’s why it gets frustrating (Twitter link).”

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12 thoughts on “Zach LaVine, Jim Boylen Address Trust Issue

  1. Black Ace57

    Levine is full of himself. He is not a star and doesn’t deserve star treatment.

    • yoyo137

      Lavine is definitely the Bulls star player and put up star numbers last year. And did you just skip the last quote?

      • joparx

        Lavine is a player who will put up big numbers on bad teams but he doesn’t play winning basketball, he may have put up career highs in points last year but he played defense like 3 times all year…tonight he was awesome the next 3 games he will be awful

    • Yeetus

      The Bulls are an absolute mess. Absolute dumpster fire burnt down animal guts all over the place drunk s*** everywhere level of stink. Rebuilding for five years and all the have to show for it are three guys who would be bench players on an 8 seed team and some D-league players. They will be rebuilding for 60 more years at this point hoping for the reincarnation of Derrick Rose and Michael Jordan.

  2. No player, star or not, should escape blame when their team falls 13-0 to start the game. LaVine’s ego is a bit high if he thinks he should be receiving star treatment.

  3. x%sure

    Trust! Lavine needs to do what he is supposed to and the coach also. Boylen was likely correct. Does Lavine think Boylen is not because he made a call that adversely affested his PT? The coach is supposed to shake things things up at a rocky bottom… benching the highest-paid player for 5 minutes when getting blown out sounds sounds less wrong than controversial.

    Lavine is talking like a screwup, like Itving last year before basically Boston teammates ran him out. Or– Like someone preparing a me-or-him ultimatum.

    However the “extra attention” and “like” bits makes it complicated. Lies maybe, talk that was not supposed to be public.
    A successful HC makes a peace with the #1 player.

    I guess mgmt is supposed to make a choice between them. The Bulls are losing so “Garpax” probably will anyway… the FO has done some spending.

  4. richard dangler

    Why is the media so dishonest? Benching means not put back in. Not only did he re enter the game but he played more minutes than anyone else.

  5. stevep-4

    I think the one who should be benched is Boylen, although Lavine seems to be a good 6th man unless he learns better D and starts making better on-court decisions.

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