Jim Boylen Is "Not Worried" About Team's Win-Loss Record

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Jim Boylen Is “Not Worried” About Team’s Win-Loss Record

Chicago Bulls

On September 30th, 2019 – Jim Boylen, John Paxson, and Gar Forman sat in front of the world on Media Day and identified a playoff berth as the season’s task at hand.

“Our goals for the season,” Boylen told reporters, “are to make the playoffs and every day to prepare like we’re a playoff team.”

Fast forward to February 25th, 2020 and Jim Boylen isn’t preaching the same message. In fact, he’s nowhere close.

On Tuesday evening ahead of the Bulls matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, 670 The Score’s Cody Westerlund asked Boylen about his 37-79 record as an NBA head coach.

“I’m not worried about my personal record or my win-loss record,” Boylen told Westerlund. “I’ve been asked to establish a style of play, to have a disciplined approach and develop a young group of guys. And in my opinion, we are doing that.”

Huh? Last time I checked, the win-loss column is a pretty important component of making the playoffs. Not to mention, for a franchise in the third year of its rebuild, the “style of play” and general culture should be well established by now.

But what really gets me going here is that Boylen is either (a) pretending or (B) genuinely happy with the way things have gone so far. I’m not sure which is worse.

“It’s a win-loss league, but that’s not the only thing that gets evaluated,” Boylen said (via Westerlund). “Are we establishing a style of play? I think we have. Have we cleaned up our defense that needed to be cleaned up? I think we have. Have we established a shot profile that’s top five in the league? I think we’re three right now in the shots we get compared to other teams.”

Who wouldn’t want to live in this – for lack of a better word – fantasy land?

Who cares if those shots go in? Who cares if the Bulls offense is 28th in the league? Who cares if the team has a 20-38 record in a season that was supposed to be playoff-bound?

Boylen is doing a great job – according to him – and, hey, it isn’t even his job to care about the final record, right? “It is hard for me,” Boylen said (via Westerlund). “But that’s not my calling. That’s not what they ask me to do. Nobody in this organization said to me, ‘You got to win this many games.’ … Not one time have they said that to me. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to win.”

Excuse me? Did an NBA head coach just say winning games isn’t what he’s asked to do?

The reason Boylen is allowed to think this way and not worry about his dismal coaching record is because the front office allows it. He’s so entirely confident in his current position as head coach, he told Westerlund he’d be surprised if his win-loss record was used against him this offseason.

If Boylen’s been ensured that the team record wouldn’t be used against him, that means this organization never really cared (word of the day) if they made a trip back to the playoffs in the first place. Either this is true or Boylen and his front office are on very different pages.

As the season has gone by, Boylen has acted more and more like this is Year 1 of the rebuild. The pressure isn’t on, and his job is to build this thing from the ground up. Meanwhile, “playoffs” has been an empty word thrown around to keep the fans entertained. Unfortunately – as you can tell by the tone of this post – we are not.

Anyway, here’s a bit more of what Boylen had to say today:

Good grief.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.