Bulls coach Jim Boylen not worried about the Tom Thibodeau comparisons

SHARE Bulls coach Jim Boylen not worried about the Tom Thibodeau comparisons
SHARE Bulls coach Jim Boylen not worried about the Tom Thibodeau comparisons

Jim Boylen is well-versed in the recent history of Bulls coaches and their dismissals. But that doesn’t mean he sees any of it as a cautionary tale.

“I know if I’m not me, it’s not going to be very good,” Boylen said Wednesday. “I had an [athletic director] tell me one time, ‘No one does you better than you, so be you.’ I’m trying to do that. I think I’m what this team needs, and that fits my personality. Direct, honest — it’s about the team. ‘Bulls’ across the chest has to mean something, and I haven’t wavered from that. That’s what we’re going to be.”

Sound familiar?

Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was hard-coaching, direct and honest, and never wavered from it. And here’s what chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement when Thibodeau was fired after the 2014-15 season:

“While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone’s ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private. Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization — staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture.”


• Familiar chants of ‘M-V-P’ fill UC as Derrick Rose returns to beat Bulls

• Jim Boylen has staying power — at least more than some of his Bulls players

After Thibodeau’s firing, the Bulls went with an opposite personality, Fred Hoiberg, as coach. Hoiberg was fired Dec. 3 in Year 4 of his five-year deal, and now it’s back to a coach who’s all about push, push, push.

Asked about the similarities between himself and Thibodeau, Boylen joked, “Well, I’m a little better looking.”

“Other than that,” he said, “I think we both care about our guys, both trying to get the players to honor the essence of the team, play for the team, play for each other. Obviously, he’s building something [with the Timberwolves], and something positive. And we’re building something here — in my opinion, positive, too.”

Speaking of Hoiberg …

Asked about his replacement being fired, Thibodeau spoke kindly of Hoiberg.

“Fred is a good man, and you hate to see it during the season,” Thibodeau said. “It’s bittersweet. It’s an opportunity for Jim, and Jim has waited a long time to get an opportunity, so that part is good. But you hate to see anyone lose their job. It’s the business we’re in.”

Parker update (sort of)

Where does Boylen’s relationship with Jabari Parker stand these days? Is Parker — who’s allegedly hoping to be traded — any closer to being a factor on the court?

Boylen’s response: “Jabari is available to play, and we’ll see how it goes.”

The Latest
Ahead of the historically violent holiday weekend, church leaders from across the city prayed for an end to the chaos.
The council member accused Lightfoot of taking cues from the Archdiocese and Cardinal Blase Cupich over what parishioners are asking for — a transparent process for the future of the St. Adalbert Church property.
Former Cy Young winner pitched to a 7.88 ERA in eight starts this season; White Sox recall infielder Danny Mendick
The lion cub, born March 15, is named Pilipili, after the Swahili word for “pepper.”
The survey involved 1,250 adults, which, coincidentally, is also the number of sports-media professionals in Chicago who openly are betting on the players and teams they yap and/or write about.