It is rather remarkable how the Chicago Bulls ownership is convincing themselves that Jim Boylen is a good head coach. Isn’t one of the first requirements of such a person to get players to buy into what he’s preaching? Tom Thibodeau was hard on his players during his run in Chicago, but they still liked and respected him. He made them better. Some have already come out offering lukewarm reviews of Boylen at best. The latest is Daniel Gafford.
The 2nd round pick out of Arkansas averaged about 14.2 minutes per game this past season. He produced 5.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Not bad production for a 21-year old rookie. It leads to an interesting question. Could he actually have done more if he were under a different head coach?
He certainly hinted as much. During a Twitch stream where he played NBA 2K20, Gafford was asked a straightforward question. His answer said a lot.
“I’m going to answer this question, but I’m not going to read it out. As a matter of fact, I will read it out — ‘Do you like Jim Boylen?’ He aight. I don’t like him a lot, but he OK. Got some things he can work on, got some things he can get better at as a person and as a coach. I’m not going to hate on him. I’m not going to hate the man.’’
Daniel Gafford doesn’t think Boylen is all that
Now the guy tried to be diplomatic about it. He obviously didn’t want to get in trouble. Yet the words are impossible to escape. He doesn’t like Boylen. He’s not the only one. Lauri Markkanen voiced his own displeasure with the head coach on a Finnish podcast a couple of months ago. Zach Lavine got into an open argument with him during a game at one point.
It raises the question again. How in the world have the Bulls brass convinced themselves Boylen can be better than what he’s been? The primary excuse is he had too many other responsibilities. In addition to coaching, he also had to worry about personnel duties and meeting with season ticket-holders. Belief is Arturas Karnisovas wants to see how he handles his job when all he has to do is coach.
While Gafford has hope he can be better, it certainly sounded like he has his doubts.