The head coach wasn’t exactly endeared by his players, definitely wasn’t a fan favorite, and most of all there was that .317 winning percentage that couldn’t simply be explained away by injury or bad luck.
According to a Bulls source, however, there was continued behavior displayed by Boylen – even with new bosses in the building – that was considered “detrimental to the organization,” leaving new executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas no choice but to remove Boylen from the position.
One of many incidents Boylen had with organizational personnel involved a verbal run-in with a team chef several years ago that involved team lawyers, as well as a stiff warning for Boylen.
However, it was a warning that seemed to have little staying power, as Boylen become more and more comfortable with abusing his power under former general manager Gar Forman and executive John Paxson.
Once Karnisovas and new general manager Marc Eversley were able to get in the building on a consistent basis, meet with human resources on the Boylen file, and shockingly witness some of the red flags themselves in such a short time, well, even being well liked by the Reinsdorfs and serious financial concerns by ownership wasn’t going to save Boylen’s job.
“No one could question Jim’s passion for our team and our organization,” COO Michael Reinsdorf said in a statement. “We sincerely appreciate his tireless efforts and contributions during his time with the Bulls, and we wish him and his family the very best.”
Karnisovas took a similar approach to patting Boylen on the back, and thanking him for his service.
“After doing a comprehensive evaluation and giving the process the time it deserved, I ultimately decided that a fresh approach and evolution in leadership was necessary,” Karnisovas said. “This was a very difficult decision, but it is time for our franchise to take that next step as we move in a new direction and era of Chicago Bulls basketball. Jim is a great human being that cares deeply about this organization and the game of basketball. I want to thank him for his professionalism and commitment to the franchise.”
With Boylen now out of the picture, the Bulls will begin a coaching search that will start with a spotlight in Philadelphia.
The Sun-Times reported months ago that 76ers assistant coach Ime Udoka was on the radar as the leading candidate to replace Boylen, and according to one scout that hasn’t changed.