We’ve seen some of those guys, especially Popovich and Doc Rivers, talk about things going on in society during press conferences. Speaking of coaches, I don’t know if you’ve seen this as we’re recording this podcast, but Jim Boylen was let go by the Bulls. What goes through your mind when you see another coach gets fired? Lloyd Pierce: For me, it’s disturbing. It’s upsetting. Jim’s a great man. I know the challenges that he was facing as a coach with a team that’s similarly young to ours. You’re trying to get that thing going. It’s not always the easiest task at hand when you’re dealing with the media, social media, young players, and the expectations of everyone. Everyone wants to win, and everyone wants to win right now. I know the position. I’m in the position, but we all know as coaches that this is the job we’re in. We understand the expectations that come with the job. We understand the seriousness of those expectations, and we take on the task knowing that. I think Jim will be fine. He’ll land on his feet soon. He was granted a great opportunity. I hope nothing but the best for him. I also understand this is our business, so it is what it is sometimes.
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Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce was recording a podcast appearance with HoopsHype as news of Boylen’s firing broke. As a fellow coach tasked with developing a young team in a rebuild, the news hit home for Pierce. “For me, it’s disturbing,” Pierce told HoopsHype. “It’s upsetting. Jim’s a great man. I know the challenges that he was facing as a coach with a team that’s similarly young to ours. You’re trying to get that thing going. It’s not always the easiest task at hand when you’re dealing with the media, social media, young players, and the expectations of everyone. Everyone wants to win, and everyone wants to win right now.
The head coach wasn’t exactly endeared by his players, definitely wasn’t a fan favorite, and most of all there was that .317 winning percentage that couldn’t simply be explained away by injury or bad luck. According to a Bulls source, however, there was also a continued behavior displayed by Boylen — even with new bosses in the building — that was considered “detrimental to the organization,” leaving new executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas no choice but to remove Boylen from the position on Friday morning.
The Sun-Times learned that one of a handful of incidents Boylen had with organizational personnel involved a verbal run-in with a team chef several years ago that included a team lawyer getting involved, as well as a warning for Boylen. However, it was a warning that seemed to have little staying power, as the feeling was that Boylen become more and more comfortable with abusing his power under former general manager Gar Forman and executive John Paxson.
Joe Cowley: Was just told that even in the final days this week, Jim Boylen was under the impression that he was returning as head coach. In Jim’s world this firing was unexpected, as he truly believed that AK and Co. didn’t want to start the clock on their own regime. He was wrong.
Rob Schaefer: Jim Boylen has been relieved of his duties as head coach, Bulls announce
Adrian Wojnarowski: Bulls have fired coach Jim Boylen
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August 14, 2022 | 9:22 pm EDT Update
Any team looking to acquire Micic would have to give Oklahoma City some draft compensation—preferably a first-rounder, though it’s possible the price could have been brought down. “I think that was where it was a little too much for teams,” one Western Conference executive said. “No one wanted to give up a pick plus everything else it would take. The guy can play, I think he’d be good in the NBA. But no one wanted to give up picks and money for him.”
First, there was Micic himself. To ditch Efes and head to the NBA, Micic wanted a few things—a salary in the $6-7 million per year range, a starting spot (or, at least, starter-type minutes), and a role with a contending team. That eliminated a chunk of NBA interest off the bat.
“I knew what the move was,” Hyland told The Denver Post last week via Zoom. “They were already contacting me before and letting me know what was happening. After the moves even happened, the coaches called me, players called me, like, ‘Time to just go out there and be Bizzy. It’s a big opportunity for you.’ And they tell me every day, like, ‘You’re going to have a big role, big opportunity, a lot more minutes, just to just go out there and be yourself.’”
If he’s going to become a staple of Denver’s crunch-time rotation, simultaneously earning trust from coach Michael Malone, Hyland knows he needs to become a more consistent two-way player. “I think it’s moreso the defensive part, but I know I can guard,” he said. “I wasn’t the player this year who got picked on. When I put my mind to it, I know I can guard. … That’s just something I gotta do and be willing to do every possession.”