With an 8-17 record, Jim Boylen is no stranger to a little media hounding in his postgame press conferences this season. But after yet another 4th quarter collapse last night, the Bulls head coach finally sounded like he’s had enough.
Check it out:
#Bulls coach Jim Boylen had some passionate comments near end of his postgame media session, during which he dropped the “I coach by faith” line. It ended oddly too, with a reporter proclaiming, “It’s not negative, coach” after Boylen’s final line. pic.twitter.com/UlREW5T7Pz
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) December 10, 2019
Boylen’s comment read with noticeable frustration, and according to 670 The Score’s Cody Westerlund, it also came off quite “passionate” in the interview room.
But while most of his comments were more than familiar in message and tone, one line stuck out above the rest. Can you guess which one? Ding-Ding-Ding (I’m just assuming you got it)!
“I coach by faith.”
I think it’s safe to say this isn’t a satisfying response to the media members and Bulls fans who are awaiting accountability.
Boylen has dodged questions all season long with thoughtful, carefully crafted responses like “Because I said so,” avoiding any real technical answers about or solutions to this team’s problems.
Consistently, he calls for learning moments and alludes to the fact that these guys will grow on a nightly basis. But the fact of the matter is we haven’t seen it. And instead of telling folks why he thinks we haven’t seen it, he’s simply telling us he has faith (in what, himself?) it will happen.
In other words, Boylen is telling us he doesn’t know when or how this team is going to win games, he’s just hoping they will. That makes two of us. But if I’m sitting here hoping, and he’s sitting their hoping, who’s trying to fulfill those hopeful wishes?
I’ll give Boylen this, his team has been playing “better” basketball over these last several games. The Bulls pulled off two-straight close games against teams at the top of the Eastern Conference, but moral victories don’t show up in the standings. And they also don’t show up in the locker room.
Kris Dunn was asked about the team’s continued struggles in the 4th quarter, and whether or not mixing things up rather than predictably going to Zach LaVine for a big bucket is a good idea?
“That’s mainly on the coach,” Dunn told The Athletic. “The coach has got to get the confidence to allow other players to dictate that. I think that’s going to allow the group to understand, ‘OK, maybe he’s got it rolling this time. He can take the shot.’”
The head coach’s postgame comment makes the report of his unpopularity among the players that much more intriguing. While he coaches the game with “faith” his players on the court are stuck waiting around for legitimate answers. If his players are struggling to get “one more defensive rebound” or “one more open three,” his job is to make sure it happens.
The Bulls are waiting for their head coach to address the problems. Meanwhile, Boylen’s crossing his fingers hoping they do the same. We’ve reached a stalemate.