Jim Boylen Rumors
Jim Boylen has stayed busy since Artūras Karnišovas’ decision to fire him last August in one of Karnišovas’ first major moves as Bulls executive vice president. Boylen spent two weeks with Terry Stotts and the Portland Trail Blazers before and during training camp to consult on the team’s defense. He accepted invitations from college coaches to offer input and advice with visits at Toledo, Loyola Marymount and Golf Coast University. He ran Zoom clinics for the NBA for international coaches. And just recently, Boylen worked the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) International Combine, which filled the void when the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational fell victim to the pandemic.
Tabbed for this role by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, Boylen began preparation several weeks ago. He’s a veteran of running clinics, having done so in the past for the league in various Basketball Without Borders trips and the like. Boylen’s preparation culminated with training camp-like meetings on Sunday and Monday with the coaching staff, which includes former NBA and WNBA players in the league’s coaches development program plus current G League coaches. Former Bulls Donyell Marshall and Chris Duhon are among that group, as is former Bulls assistant coach Karen Stack Umlauf.
Boylen is 10 months and 5 miles removed from doing similar work on a daily basis at the Advocate Center. But in a phone conversation with NBC Sports Chicago, Boylen is upbeat, thankful for this latest opportunity and optimistic about what’s next. “I care about players and coaches developing,” Boylen said. “I take that very seriously.”
LaVine confirmed what Boylen said in his exit interview from Chicago, that the two spoke following Boylen’s firing. Even if LaVine offered criticism at times of Boylen, his game undeniably grew during Boylen’s tenure as Boylen challenged him to become a better two-way player. “I look at myself as someone who is extremely professional. I reached out to him, gave him thank you and told him I hope he lands on his feet. He responded. Everything was good on the phone,” LaVine said. “At the end of the day, regardless of whatever the media narrative is, it’s tough when people get fired because this is their livelihood. I definitely just wanted to reach out to him and say a few words.”