According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Chicago Bulls are zeroing in on their head coach finalists, and final interviews are right around the corner.
The Bulls are narrowing to finalists for their head coaching job and expect to conduct final interviews soon, sources said. Denver assistant Wes Unseld Jr., Philadelphia assistant Ime Udoka, Milwaukee assistant Darvin Ham and former Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson are among the coaches who have had strong interviews so far.
We got a sneaky indication from Coby White last week that the Bulls were at least somewhat close to the final stages of the interview process, but this is a more legitimate report.
The Bulls coaching search officially launched on August 14th when the organization announced the dismissal of former head coach Jim Boylen. The fact that it’s now been well over a month without a decision isn’t all that surprising when we consider the circumstances. Not only has Karnisovas already shown Bulls fans that he likes to take his time, but they’re just isn’t an overwhelming rush to find the team’s next leader. I mean, after all, the start date for the 2021 season has yet to be named.
With that said, we can all agree the sooner someone can get to work the better, so it’s encouraging to see the process headed towards a conclusion. What will be interesting now is whether or not the folks Charania listed will be considered the true “finalists.” It’s not surprising at all to hear that Wes Unseld Jr., Ime Udoka, Darvin Ham, and Kenny Atkinson are all harder strict consideration, but Charnia did write they were “among the coaches” to have strong interviews.
If I had to guess, I’d say that list is cut down by one more candidate as the Bulls head into final interviews. Unseld Jr. and Udoka, specifically, still feel like the top-contenders, thanks to their previous connections with Karnisovas and Eversley. Nuggets assistant Unseld Jr. has gained a lot of traction in recent weeks as Denver has fought its way into the Western Conference Finals. Still battling it out in the bubble, we should keep in mind that it’s possible he’s at the top of the Bulls list, but will not be formally announced until after the Nuggets are eliminated.
I’d be content with almost any name that Charania has listed. All have a player development background and track of proven success, which is pretty much all this organization can ask for right now. Keep in mind: The Bulls start voluntary group workouts on Monday, so I’m sure this will be a major topic of conversation inside the Advocate Center, whether it be between players or between management and players (the front office will likely want to see how certain players feel about each candidate).