Zach LaVine has been busy lately.
We talked about the sixth-year shooting guard a bit the other day, and as the offseason gets underway, LaVine hasn’t shied away from becoming the voice of the Bulls. In fact, he recently spoke with 670 The Score’s David Schuster, and weighed in on a number of offseason topics you’ll want to discuss.
If you want to catch the full interview, you can go check it out here, but I’ve collected some of the highlights, alongside some thoughts of my own, below. Enjoy.
- At the beginning of the interview, LaVine elaborated on the footage of his workout routine which was shared around online the other week. LaVine was running several resistance drills in the sand that he said helps improve balance and add strength to different parts of his body. (Maybe I should start running in the sand? Nah …). You remember the clips, right:
- But just after that, he got into what was probably the most interesting bit of the interview: his reaction, or lack thereof, to the Bulls draft-night situation: “You know, I really didn’t have a reaction to it,” LaVine said. “No. 1 or No. 60 pick you still don’t really know who it is or how they’re going to be until they get here, so whatever the pick is, whatever it turns out to be you know will all welcome him into the team.” Honestly, that may just sound like the “professional” or “canned” answer, but I actually think it shows LaVine’s confidence with his Bulls right now. That’s the sort of answer that can score you some points in the locker room, which, hey, on a rebuilding team with a ton of young guys has value.
- And when asked about whom the Bulls should take at No. 7, he went on to say the best player available method seems to be the most fitting approach (Michael: I AGREE). And considering that most of the starters are pretty much set in stone, he may care more about the team adding depth rather than a true point guard. (Michael: When we’re talking about just the draft, I can agree with LaVine pretty easily. I think taking the best overall player is always better for a rebuilding club than drafting for a need. HOWEVA, I think you have to have some plans to add a point guard via trade or free agency (Lonzo Ball rumors aplenty) to help steer this team through the next step in the rebuild.)
- For what it’s worth, Schuster takes time out to say that LaVine believes the Bulls current point guard, Kris Dunn, gets “a bad rap.” It wasn’t a direct quote from LaVine on the air, but Schuster must’ve heard (or gotten that impression) at some point along the way, which isn’t surprising.
- Switching gears, LaVine addressed the … less than popular extension for Head Coach Jim Boylen. To refresh your memory, at first, it was reported that several Bulls players did not approve of Boylen’s coaching style. The team even attempted to organize a boycott of practice, and rumored to be in the middle of all of this was LaVine. Indeed, when Boylen first got named interim head coach, the team dynamic felt like a bunch of kids getting an unexpected step-parent (You’re not my real dad!). But at some point, LaVine held a players-only meeting to get the team back on some sort of recognizable path. Then, he and the rest of the team met with Boylen to discuss the tension. Since then, the relationship between LaVine and Boylen has seemed really strong. In March, LaVine even offered to pay a league fine that Boylen received after being ejected from a game.
- Now, in this interview, LaVine spoke about how he congratulated Boylen when the head coach received the extension: “I mean I think we all really knew about it,” LaVine said. “I gave him a text to say congratulations, we’re ready for the season and to take this thing to the next level. We don’t want to be here texting each other from different states in April…” And, honestly, it’s reassuring to hear that from LaVine. With him turning into the apparent leader of this team, his maturity and effort to develop his relationship with Boylen will hopefully lead to a better team-wide product on the court.
- The Bulls have plenty to figure out this offseason, but there definitely is something about LaVine’s approach already that makes you feel like brighter days (and games) are in the near future.