Allow me to start with a bit of housekeeping. I was unfair to Antonio Blakeney and former coach Fred Hoiberg. In my story last week about the Bulls’ waning faith in Hoiberg, I wrote that Blakeney directed some colorful language toward Hoiberg in asking why he was being removed from a game earlier this season. I cited team sources in the report — which The Athletic stands by. But I didn’t hear the comment myself, and while scrambling to report and write the piece I never gave Blakeney nor Hoiberg a chance to address the allegation. I’ve spent much of this hectic past week trying to make it right as best I can, and after careful consideration of a handful of ideas I settled on this format. Blakeney denies ever saying it. Hoiberg, who has chosen to not be quoted, said Blakeney didn’t say it either. Blakeney respectfully refuted the allegation on Twitter upon learning of the comments I attributed to him in my story.
I immediately retweeted Blakeney’s response and realized then I had been unfair. To be fair to Blakeney, who has been professional and a stand-up guy since I began covering him last season, I circled back to him so that he could address the allegation.