Jim Boylen has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. The team announced its decision to fire the 55-year-old via a press release on the team’s official website. In the statement, Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas thanked Boylen for his dedication, but also stated his belief that the organization was in need of an “evolution in leadership.”
“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. 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. Jim is a great human being that cares deeply about this organization and the game of basketball. I want to thank him for his professionalism and commitment to the franchise.”
As shared previously by The Inquisitr, Boylen’s dismissal had been long rumored in NBA circles. More recently, though, there had been reason to believe he would keep his job, as a result of the financial constraints affecting teams around the league due to revenue lost from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the fact that Chicago’s franchise has been valued at over $3 billion, Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said recently that his pro sports-related losses have been in the “nine figures” range.
Nevertheless, Karnisovas and his brain trust elected to make a change on the sidelines.
Boylen’s tenure with the Bulls was more memorable for his clashing with players than for anything his squad was able to accomplish on the court. In 123 games at the helm, he compiled a record of 39-84, which equates to a winning percentage of just 31.7. The Bulls haven’t qualified for postseason play since 2017, under Boylen’s predecessor, Fred Hoiberg.
This season, his team ranked 29th in the league in offensive rating, scoring just 105.8 points per 100 possessions, despite the presence of talented young offensive players like Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter. The club did exhibit potential defensively, however, posting a top-10 D-rating of 108.9.
Per a tweet from ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls are expected to consider former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, assistants Adrian Griffin (Toronto Raptors), Wes Unseld Jr. (Denver Nuggets) and Darvin Ham (Milwaukee Bucks) as candidates for their head coaching vacancy.
As reported previously by The Inquisitr, Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka could also make a play for the job.