Jim Boylen‘s stint as the Bulls’ head coach was short-lived and ultimately unsuccessful, as he led the team to a record of just 39-84 (.317) from 2018-20. After his tumultuous tenure in Chicago, Boylen was extremely appreciative to get the chance to coach Team USA’s qualifying team for the 2023 World Cup, as he tells Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
“This opportunity, you kind of get your sea legs back. I got my voice back,” Boylen said. “It was a godsend to come and do this, and also, this is the biggest challenge I’ve ever had.”
Boylen has led Team USA to a 3-1 record in the qualifiers to date, picking up wins in February over Puerto Rico and Mexico. There are four more qualifying windows to come, with the next one scheduled for June.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- When many of the top players available on the 2021 buyout market joined the Nets or Lakers, some league observers and fans pushed for changes that would prevent big-market teams from scooping up veteran talent essentially for free. However, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (video link) argues within a recap of 2022’s relatively quiet buyout market that the impact of buyout signings is generally overstated — none of last year’s moves were difference-makers and it’s unlikely that any of this year’s will be either, says Marks.
- Former Oklahoma guard Isaiah Cousins has signed an NBA G League contract and is joining the Maine Celtics, according to our JD Shaw (Twitter link). Cousins was a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, but has yet to appear in a regular season NBA game, having spent most of his professional career in Europe.
- One of the former NBA players who had been playing in Ukraine this season, Toure’ Murry spoke to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today about his stressful experience leaving the country following Russia’s invasion last month. “There was risk of going to the Poland border and getting sent back. There were no guarantees. So we took a leap of faith going through Romania,” said Murray, explaining that he was eventually able to get a train to Bucharest, a flight to Amsterdam, and then a flight home to Houston. “It worked out in terms of getting across the border. But going through the situation, we had no idea if we would get out.”