While the Billy Donovan hire may have shocked Bulls fans and NBA analysts alike, most gave Chicago a thumbs up for the decision. After all, Donovan was arguably one of the most qualified candidates on the market, coming off five-straight playoff appearances and a 2020 Coach of the Year award from the coaches association.
The front office’s ability to take this team from Jim Boylen to Donovan in one offseason should be perceived as a pretty big step in the right direction, but that’s not exactly what Bulls legend Scottie Pippen thinks.
In an interview with Forbes contributor Chris Cason about his new sleep story on the Calm App (yes, that’s a thing … and, yes, I’ll be falling asleep to it every night), Pippen gave some brief thoughts on the Bulls new head coach.
If you’re looking at it from a fan perspective, I’m not impressed with what they did. I don’t think that they have made any dramatic changes that are going to change who they are as a team. That’s just my personal opinion. I like Billy Donovan as a person but I don’t think he’s proved anything in the NBA that proves he’s worth investing in and bringing a team up that needs help like Chicago does. They’re a team that has been struggling for a long time. To me, I don’t see the value he brings to them. He’s going to be a coach but there are a lot of them out there. He didn’t do anything special in OKC that warranted him a second opportunity. That’s just my opinion.
Uh, what? Is he being sarcastic? Did Donovan steal his prom date or something?
I almost disagree with everything Pippen said. Donovan has proven he can hold his team to a consistent postseason standard despite an ever-changing roster. To say he hasn’t proven anything or that he doesn’t bring any value to this organization is flat-out wrong. The guy is the complete opposite of recent coaches when it comes to garnering player’s respect, and he’s also has a very successful background in player development.
Sure, he has a valid point in saying the front office hasn’t dramatically changed who the Bulls are as a team just yet, but it’s only been a couple of months. Did he expected Karnisovas to come in and trade for a superstar right away? Is he only going to be impressed if the Bulls land a big-time player this offseason? If that’s his immediate desire, can he at least admit that a player-coach like Donovan makes the Bulls a much more attractive destination?
The Donovan hire hits a lot of the right notes for the Bulls, and it also gives this team a greater boost toward relevancy. At the same time, Pippen is the same guy who hardcore bad-mouthed the Bulls at All-Star Weekend in Chicago earlier this season, so I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised. Maybe Pippen is still salty with the way things ended with the past regime, and maybe that’s something Karnisovas can also set out to fix.