Bulls Fire Head Coach Jim Boylen

The Bulls have parted ways with head coach Jim Boylen, announcing today in a press release that he has been relieved of his duties. A search for the team’s next head coach will begin immediately, according to the release.

“After doing a comprehensive evaluation and giving the process the time it deserved, I ultimately decided that a fresh approach and evolution in leadership was necessary,” new executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said in a statement. “This was a very difficult decision, but it is time for our franchise to take that next step as we move in a new direction and era of Chicago Bulls basketball.”

Boylen, who took the reins from Fred Hoiberg during the 2018/19 season, led the Bulls to an underwhelming 39-84 (.317) record during his brief tenure as head coach and didn’t always see eye-to-eye with his players, including standout guard Zach LaVine.

When Karnisovas took over as Chicago’s new head of basketball operations in the spring, he indicated that he wanted to take some time to evaluate Boylen, though he hasn’t had many opportunities to do so in recent months. The Bulls weren’t invited to the NBA’s 22-team restart in Orlando, and still haven’t approved organized practices or scrimmages for the eight teams left out, leaving those clubs to conduct individual workouts this summer.

Reports dating back to May have suggested that Karnisovas and new GM Marc Eversley were leaning toward making a change, but more recent reports cast doubt on that plan, suggesting that financial factors could motivate the team to stick with Boylen. Given today’s news, it appears Bulls ownership is on board with eating the remainder of Boylen’s modest contract.

Sixers assistant Ime Udoka and Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin have previously been cited as possible candidates to become the Bulls’ next head coach. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) adds a few more names to that list of potential targets, suggesting that Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld Jr., Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, and former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson are expected to receive consideration as well.

Chicago will be the second team to conduct a formal head coaching search in 2020, joining the Knicks, who hired Tom Thibodeau last month. The Nets also intend to launch a search for a permanent head coach when their season ends, with the Rockets, Pelicans, and Sixers among the other teams worth keeping an eye on.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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18 thoughts on “Bulls Fire Head Coach Jim Boylen

    • Huh? This was pretty evident given the players really didn’t like him. The only thing the surprise was that the new guy took so long to do this. He probably did the fair thing and analyze the situation fully …and then fired him.

      • x%sure

        ha, Well it was odd timing. Reseeding just ended, but the Bulls were not in it. Maybe Karnisovas wanted the announcement to be overshadowed by other NBA events.

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    Well most Bulls fans posting. Didn’t want him. Guess they right. They needed change. always best With new management to have their coach. With a young team and nice pick in draft. Atkinson looks like a gd hire.

    • windycitykid89

      “Needed change” is an understatement. Feels even better now that GarPax are no longer in charge either lol

  2. x%sure

    Interesting timing regarding Adrian Griffin, who just got in the news.
    I said Udoka a while back, which would be a big change being a positive guy, probably a “players coach”. That would fit Lavine and probably Markkanon & Porter… assuming they’re still in plans.
    Its a good job anymore despite ownership.

  3. parkers

    Atkinson would be perfect in developing this young group. Was fantastic with the Nets prior to signing Durant and Mr team unifier Irving. Did a remarkable job in taking a team buried in cap hell and molding a group of role players into a play off team

  4. illowa

    Alrighty then. Agree with the atkinson comments. Wonder if darvin ham can still throw it down.

  5. OCTraveler

    Probably a good decision but hope the next “two year experiment” is give “more tools in the tool chest” – this is another of example of how it is easier to fire the coach than placing blame on the GM or even the players.

  6. wagner13

    If the Nets were to opt for a veteran coach, the Bulls should totally swoop in and hire Vaughn. Atkinson would make sense as well. Both have proven to develop young players very effectively. This team needs Lauri, Wendell, and White to reach their ceilings

  7. KnickerbockerAl

    You know I want Halliburton for Knicks. But with Thibs here. We might go in different direction. Halliburton fits Bulls nicely too. IQ PG who plays both ways. He will get ball to other players. And still score 16-18 a gm. I would not pass on Halliburton. Hayes is also nice. But he is yrs away. Halliburton is next yr.

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