Bulls coach Jim Boylen believes his style won’t drive away future free agents

SHARE Bulls coach Jim Boylen believes his style won’t drive away future free agents
SHARE Bulls coach Jim Boylen believes his style won’t drive away future free agents

Bulls coach Jim Boylen was an NBA assistant long enough to know how it works.

The players talk; perception is everything.

Boylen realizes that at some point in this rebuild he’ll have to stare across the table at a big-name free agent and explain what the heck went on in his first week on the job.

“No, I don’t think it’s a deterrent because the free agent we would want is a guy who wants to work after a 56-point loss, a guy who wants to work after a coach takes over and is in his eighth day,’’ Boylen said. “That’s the kind of free agent we really want, so I’m not fearful of it at all.’’

He doesn’t seem to fear much these days — with good reason.

Any notion that he’s on borrowed time because of his boot-camp mentality or because of his players’ quasi-revolt Sunday was dismissed by the organization on Monday.

When questioned about Boylen’s job security in the wake of the last few days, the team’s reply was, ‘‘Yes, he is safe.’’

Boylen acknowledged and appreciated the backing of the front office.

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“It means the world to a guy in this situation that they believe in me first of all to do this, but that they believe in the way that I think it should be done is great,’’ Boylen said. “There’s no [difference] in philosophy of how we’re going to do this and what we think is important.

‘‘It’s very freeing in knowing how we can coach this team with passion and emotion and directness, so it’s great.’’

Since taking over for Fred Hoiberg on Dec. 3, Boylen has questioned his players’ leadership and toughness and has had three 2½-hour practices with no days off. All the commotion led to the players-only meeting Sunday that turned into a full team meeting to hash out problems.

And Boylen has yet to blink.

“[The job of the players] is to show up, which they did, and work,’’ Boylen said. “I’ll protect their legs. . . . Their job is to show up, my job is to run the team, and I know they’ll do that. And we’re moving forward.

“I’m running this team because the Reinsdorfs want me to, and I’m going to run it the way I think is best for where we’re going.’’

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