Is there trouble brewing for the Chicago Bulls?
A promising start to the NBA season, followed by a collection of disappointing losses have the Bulls reeling. Now there are rumblings going around the league and a couple of NBA rumors circulating that Fred Hoiberg, the Chicago Bulls head coach may be on the hot seat.
ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Bulls’ front office is evaluating Fred Hoiberg’s performance as the coach of the somewhat veteran Bulls’ team. The report quickly points out that the Bulls started the season 8-4, while making mention to the fact that the slide began then. The Chicago Bulls have lost seven out of their last 10. If things continue to travel in a downward spiral, could Hoiberg be on his way out?
Different stories would be coming out regarding the Bulls and Fred Hoiberg if the losing were from the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. Instead, those defeats have come from even or inferior teams, such as the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards.
The Bulls have come out of the gate looking slow at times. The lineup shuffles have not particularly worked out the way Hoiberg has expected. Everything about the Bulls these days hint that a change may be necessary, according to what NBA sources have told Marc Stein.
Is Fred Hoiberg on the coaching hot seat?
Chicago Bulls’ small forward Jimmy Butler may not see it that way. Butler was asked about Marc Stein’s report and the NBA rumors swirling about Hoiberg’s status. Butler supported his head coach (courtesy of ESPN).
“He’s our head coach. Go out there, we play, we fight with him. At the end of the day, that’s all we have. I don’t read those articles so that’s over my head. I just know that he’s here, we want to continue to win games with and for him. We got another one tomorrow, man. He ain’t on no hot seat to me. If we just win games, everything’s good.”
Hoiberg himself sidestepped the notion of him being on the hot seat. He instead chose to focus on doing what he can to help the Chicago Bulls win. Something that he points out is a common theme with the majority of the NBA coaches in the league.
“I’ve got a job to do, which is to try and put this team in a position to go out and win basketball games. Like probably 24 other coaches, I’m trying to find a way for us to go out and play consistent basketball on a nightly basis. We’ve taken some steps at times the last few games, as far as getting back to how we were playing earlier in the year to where I thought we were as good as anyone in the league as far as getting up and down the floor.”
It is probably too early to write Hoiberg off. Looking at the roster he was given, including the acquisitions of Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Robin Lopez, and Michael Carter-Williams, the talent does not match the coaching style of a free-flowing offense. Wade especially.
Dwyane Wade has helped the Chicago Bulls in so many ways on and off the court. And his input could factor into what the Bulls’ front office decides to do with Hoiberg. Wade’s presence has helped the Bulls get calls on the basketball court. He is also a go-to player down the stretch.
Respectability returned to the Chicago Bulls once Dwyane Wade was signed. Future NBA free agents are going to take notice how the Bulls handle Wade and others. And if Wade does not think that Fred Hoiberg is the right fit, Hoiberg could be gone. That is if the Bulls’ front office value the newfound respect that landed in their laps.
Thus far Wade has been mum about Hoiberg. He, along with Jimmy Butler holds the most sway in the Bulls’ locker room. They could call this shot if they wanted to.
The one thing to consider when it comes to Fred Hoiberg’s job status with the Chicago Bulls is his contract. When he was introduced as the Bulls’ head coach, Hoiberg’s five-year, $25 million contract was a head-turner.
Are the Bulls willing to fire a coach in just his second year with the team, knowing that there is so much money he would be owed?
Barring a continued decline or Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler going to management about a coaching change, Fred Hoiberg will finish out the season. Hoiberg deserves at least an opportunity to coach a few players that fits his gameplan.
A change could take place on the roster with the Bulls trading a player in favor of bringing in a shooter. Some more athleticism should be added in order to get a better feel for who Fred Hoiberg is as a head coach. Those things remain to be seen.
Do not expect the chatter to go away regarding Hoiberg being on the hot seat. The Chicago Bulls could surprise everybody and make a bold move. The Chicago Bulls could also simply stay the course.
[Featured Image by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]