In typical Jim Boylen fashion, the Chicago Bulls hit the ground running during their first day of training camp.
Day 1 of Bulls practice hits the 2-hour, 45-minute mark.
— Mark Strotman (@markstrot) October 1, 2019
Let’s hope the players weren’t running sprints the whole time.
NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson tweets that instead of working in two practices per day, Boylen opted for longer practices during the first week of camp. Boylen went on to say the decision was based on the “spirit and professionalism” he saw from his players over the course of voluntary workouts in September.
I love how Boylen makes grinding longer without a break sound like a reward, but is also taking into account the toll these practices will take by giving players an extended period of recovery. The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry reported that Boylen has his sights set on a 17-18 hour long rest period after each practice. So while there is some an extra push to kick-start the practice season, there is also a fair amount of rest. Balance is key.
While I understand the long practices may give crippling flashbacks to the player mutiny from last season, I don’t think it’s worth freaking out about. I fully expect fans to turn toward the injuries that happened to Wendell Carter Jr. and Daniel Gafford as a reason to be upset, but neither of these injuries appears due to “fatigue” or being “overworked.” If anything, they’re just unfortunate (Michael: And it’s not like you can’t get injured in a shorter practice, either).
It is also worth keeping in mind that it’s training camp for a young team with many new faces, sometimes longer practices are a necessity.
See, even the cool kids are doing it:
Steve Kerr on his young team: “We just practiced for two-and-a-half hours. We never did that last year.”
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 1, 2019
And more importantly, the players appear to be pleased with how things went on the first day.
Tomas Satoransky on Jim Boylen's practice demeanor: "It’s a lot of energy. He runs up and down talking to each player. I love this type of communication when the coach is with you. I feel also that you can talk to him at anytime. And that’s the most important for the player."
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 1, 2019
"The vibe was good. Everybody was excited. We continued to work on our things that we did in September, added a lot of things." – Otto Porter Jr. on Day 1 of Training Camp pic.twitter.com/fFIRw7q7bN
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) October 1, 2019
It’s encouraging to see Tomas Satoransky and Otto Porter Jr. speaking with the media and expressing positive vibes after a lengthy practice. Though, I’ll admit Satoransky’s comments sound a bit like a Boylen-bot programmed to speak highly of the new coach. But nonetheless, this is good to hear!
Save for the small injuries, if the Bulls managed to make it through Day 1 of Jim Boylen Training Camp without threatening a protest, things must be heading in the right direction.