After reports over the weekend indicated that the Bulls weren’t thrilled by Zach LaVine blowing off a post-game media interview on Saturday, head coach Billy Donovan addressed the issue on Monday, telling reporters that it has been handled internally, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. According to Johnson, LaVine apologized to and spoke at length to the PR employee he ignored after Saturday’s win.
“Me being here for the time that I’ve been here, I really think we have good quality people,” Donovan said. “That goes from players to medical to PR people. They’re really great people to work with. My thing is I want everybody to treat everybody with class and respect and help each other do their job. We all have jobs to do. And they’re difficult and demanding and there are emotions in that. My wish would be that everybody helps each other in doing their job to the best of their ability.”
As Johnson writes, LaVine has been accommodating to the media and represented the franchise professionally during his six-plus years in Chicago, so Saturday’s incident was an anomaly and drew greater scrutiny because the guard has been the subject of trade rumors as of late. However, Donovan said he likes what he’s seen from LaVine on the court recently and hasn’t noticed any changes in the 28-year-old’s demeanor behind the scenes.
“I did not see anything different from him in that locker room when I walked in (on Saturday),” Donovan said. “I didn’t get a guy who wasn’t in the locker room or in a different room or upset or pouting or turned around. I talked to him after the game. He talked to players after the game. I saw a normal Zach in there.”
Here’s more on the Bulls:
- For a second straight season, Andre Drummond is playing a limited role off the bench in Chicago. The two-time All-Star is averaging just 13.8 minutes per night, but has been productive in those minutes, putting up 6.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per night. As Johnson writes for NBC Sports Chicago, Drummond still believes he’s a starting-caliber center, but he has no complaints about coming off the bench for the Bulls. “I got a lot left in the tank, man. Still very healthy. Still very young,” he said on Monday. “I still have a lot left to give. I know my role for this team and what I have to give. So I try to do it to the best of my ability.”
- Coming into this season, the Bulls had vowed to play faster, but that plan hasn’t panned out, notes Jamal Collier of ESPN.com. The club currently ranks 29th in the NBA in pace and 27th in offensive rating, and Donovan has acknowledged that Chicago isn’t going to be a “racehorse” team. “That’s fine, you can still be effective and productive,” Donovan said. “You have to play to your personnel and what you have.”
- President of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas bears the brunt of the responsibility for the Bulls’ struggles this season, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, who writes that the front office’s bet on continuity looks like a failed one, with little reason to believe things will turn around anytime soon. The only question is how much longer Karnisovas will give the current group, says Mayberry.
- In case you missed it, Alex Caruso and Patrick Williams are said to be the Bulls players generating the most intrigue among potential trade partners, as we relayed on Monday.