The Chicago Bulls might have more than just roster spots to fill this summer. According to NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes, the Wizards have interviewed assistant coach Chris Fleming for their head coach opening.
The Wizards interviewed Chris Fleming for their head coaching vacancy, @NBCSWashington has learned. Fleming is an assistant for the Bulls and was the head coach of the German national team.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) June 30, 2021
After playing and working overseas for many years, Fleming joined the NBA as an assistant coach in 2015 with the Denver Nuggets. He and Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas crossed paths for one season in the West Coast before Fleming joined the Brooklyn Nets staff.
While in Brooklyn, Fleming became a key part of former coach Kenny Atkinson’s team, establishing an offensive identity that ultimately helped the team land a surprising 6th seed with a 42-40 record during the 2018-19 season. Former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen then hired Fleming away from the Nets in 2019-20. While Boylen only lasted a year, Fleming kept his place in Chicago as a member of Billy Donovan’s coaching staff.
So while Fleming may not have any prior NBA head coach arena, it has become clear that he continues to garner respect in league circles. The New York Knicks interviewed Fleming for their head coach vacancy last season, as did the Bulls after relieving Boylen of his duties.
A Fleming departure would undoubtedly leave the Bulls with a significant hole to fill. He has arguably been around these players more than any other member of the coaching staff, and Coby White, in particular, has given him plenty of love in the past: “Coach Fleming was my guy last year, so he’s still mostly my guy this year,” White said during the 2020-21 Bulls Media Day. “He’s still my workout coach and whatnot. I put a lot of trust in him. So I feel like I trust him and he would never steer me wrong.”