Bulls Players Speak Out About Fred Hoiberg

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The Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg was fired. It was announced this past Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018.

Hoiberg was named head coach of the team in June 2015, during the off-season. The front office felt that he would help the team strive in the playoffs, after the firing of Tom Thibodeau.

Many fans have speculated that Hoiberg’s firing was a time bomb waiting to blow up, due to the team’s lack of success for the past 3 years. Assistant coach, Jim Boylen has been promoted to fill in the head position. Boylen has won three NBA championships, two with the Houston Rockets and one with the San Antonio Spurs. Many current Bulls players have spoken out about the sudden but expected firing of Hoiberg.

“I texted [Hoiberg] right afterward and let him know that I appreciated him and thanks for all the hard work. Because at the end of the day, Fred is a great dude and you respect that. You know he did a good job here. He was under some circumstances that he can’t control” said Bulls guard Zach LaVine.

John Paxson who is currently the Bulls’ President and General Manager: “The team fired Hoiberg not because they were struggling to win while missing three starting players, but because of a lack of competitive spirit.”

Lauri Markkanen who suffered an elbow injury before the start of the season was asked if players respected Hoiberg. “I think so,” Markkanen said, “But, of course, it’s different. I’m used to a more laid-back coach. I don’t know if there’s one right type of coach.” He added that Boylen thinks of himself as “a more passionate in-game coach” than Hoiberg.

Despite being the head coach for less than a week, Boylen has made changes to the lineup. Jabari Parker has been moved to the bench behind Markkanen. LaVine described Boylen as an “old-school coach” and a “tough-minded dude.”

Referring to the number of injured players, Paxton stated:

We were in a similar situation last year at this time, but the entire energy about this group was different back then. We felt that here in the last several weeks, that something’s different. What we’re lacking … is a spirit about our team.

Markkanen who made his NBA season return last week missed the first 23 games due to injury. Kris Dunn is currently suffering from a left knee injury. Bobby Portis has only played 4 games, has a right knee injury. Guard Denzel Valentine is out for the remainder of the season after a terrible ankle injury.

Paxson said that General Manager Gar Forman is “absolutely safe” and that they are committed to keeping Boylen around long term. This will be his first year as a head coach, as he has been an assistant for his entirety in the NBA.

Written By Parris Winfrey
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

ABC 7 Chicago: Bulls players react to firing of coach Fred Hoiberg
ESPN: Bulls players react to firing of coach Fred Hoiberg
NBA: Bulls fire coach Hoiberg after 5-19 start to season

Featured and Top Images Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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