In case you missed it, Bulls guard Zach LaVine went on Zach Lowe’s podcast earlier this week, and it’s full of great stories you’ll definitely want to check out.
ICYMI: Lowe Post podcast with @ZachLaVine on Jim Boylen and the Bulls' future, the dunk contest, his Vontae Mack story, KG hazing tales, being scared of Nikola Pekovic, much more: https://t.co/cpPQp33XIy
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) October 29, 2019
Up-front: the podcast doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty about the team’s recent performance or upcoming season. Instead, Lowe asks LaVine a range of more general (but still interesting) questions, starting with the first (juicy) 72 hours of the Jim Boylen regime.
With how annoying that topic must be, LaVine handled it all really well. He stated that any adjustment to a new coaching staff will come with its fair share of bumps and bruises. And as for the infamous, borderline mutiny and eventual player meeting, LaVine spoke of it very similar to how his head coach did in one of The Athletic’s recent pieces.
“As bad as it looked, it brought us closer together,” LaVine said. “Everyone was able to share the truth, speak from the heart if it was good or bad, and it helped … I was upset because we weren’t seeing eye-to-eye with how things were being run, accountability and even role setting, stuff like that.”
LaVine’s relationship with Jim Boylen has come a long way since last December, and it certainly shines through in his conversation with Lowe. He mentioned that while Boylen may do his fair share of “quirky” things, it’s all because he “genuinely cares” for his players. Some of those quirky practices sound like they work just fine for LaVine though, who mentions one nickname Boylen has for him thanks to the film Men in Black.
“What I do like about that [showing the clip] is he keeps calling me a Cephalapoid,” LaVine said. The Alien from the movie is one with quick feet and pretty legit leaping ability, and when Lowe asks whether the character’s a “good guy,” LaVine’s answer is pretty funny: “No, they’re trying to take over the world, so I guess they’re bad people. I’m trying to take over the NBA, so you know.”
The rest of the Lowe interview is all pretty light-hearted. My favorite of which comes in a great story from his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
LaVine describes how the franchise had to stop allowing him 24/7 access to the facility because he’d spend endless hours in the gym. After certain games, he would head back onto the court and put up around 500 or 600 shots. LaVine then shared a part of the story he’s never shared publicly.
To make up for the missed time, he and his dad put a basketball hoop inside his father’s townhouse on the stairwell. LaVine would leave his apartment to drive over there and shoot a couple of hundred touch shots.
“I don’t think the neighbors really cared. They knew who I was, I signed a couple of pictures and stuff for them too, so they could care less if I was dribbling a ball at 11:30-12 at night.”
Yup, I love everything about that.
Anyway, if you want to hear more about LaVine’s defense, weird Kevin Garnett stories, and the Bulls leadership council (which LaVine doesn’t sound too excited about), make sure to give the full podcast a listen! LaVine’s a great interview!