Former Bulls forward and legend Scottie Pippen had some choice words regarding the Bulls head coaching hire. In an interview with Chris Carson a contributor for Forbes SportsMoney he was asked about the Bulls hiring of Billy Donovan as the team’s next head coach.
Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen isn’t a fan of the hiring of Billy Donovan.🔥🔥
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) September 29, 2020
Summing everything up Pippen basically doesn’t believe Billy Donovan is anything special. He sees that the Bulls have been struggling for a long time and doesn’t think that Donovan brings proven coaching experience to the team. Pippen went on to say that Donovan didn’t do anything special in OKC that warranted him getting another chance with another team. Pippen ended his statement with that’s just my opinion. Clearly, the Bulls had a very different opinion when it comes to Billy Donovan.
Is there merit to Pippen’s opinion?
This all depends on what you deem as “special”. Donovan made it to the playoffs all 5 years he was with the team. He went to the Western Conference Finals once and exited after the 1st round 4 times. You could say that he “underachieved” based on the players that were on his team. But saying that he didn’t do anything special doesn’t seem to match up.
During this previous season, Donovan lost starting PG Russell Westbrook and starting guard/forward Paul George. He had to completely change up his gameplan after losing two top-tier players. Donovan altered his approach and played to each of the player’s strengths. Then he lead the team that no one thought would make it to the playoffs to a 7 game first-round series against the Houston Rockets. While they exited after the first round they still overachieved this season.
Donovan was in some ways hindered by the all-star talent he had on the roster. He had to make it work with Westbrook and George. Those two never seemed to truly click with one another and the team fell apart. He did blow a 3-1 lead in the finals but that happened in his first year as an NBA coach. Donovan overall has a 60% winning percentage over 5 years. That’s not an easy thing to do.
The Chicago Bulls are hiring Billy Donovan as their new head coach.
Donovan coached the last five years with the OKC Thunder, accumulating a 243-157 record. pic.twitter.com/mHJUQGZOTJ
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 22, 2020
It’s clear Pippen doesn’t like this coaching hire but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what he thinks. The opinions of the players on the team are the only opinions that matter. Only time will tell if Donovan has something special about him. Until then I am going to continue to be excited about the new leader of this team.