Maligned Former Bulls Coach Spotted at Knicks Practice

Getty Tom Thibodeau

The New York Knicks had a former Chicago Bulls head coach at their practice on Tuesday. No, we’re not talking about Tom Thibodeau. According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, Jim Boylen was a visitor and was spotted at the Knicks’ practice.

If you’re a Bulls fan, the mere mention of Boylen’s name likely sends you into a panic. However, when you realize he may be infecting some aspect of the Knicks’ path to ascension in the Eastern Conference, your collective minds may be at ease.


Why Was Jim Boylen at the Knicks’ Practice?

The exact reason for Boylen’s presence is unknown. However, SNYtv’s Ian Begley tweeted this image showing Boylen sitting with Thibs and the rest of the Knicks’ brass.

Would Thibs and the Knicks dare allow Boylen into the fold in any way? It’s hard to say. Boylen had a solid reputation as an assistant coach, so perhaps Thibs will see some advantage in having a veteran coach like Boylen around.

Bulls fans wish them all the luck.


Could Jim Boylen Be Looking into a Return to the NBA?

How bad of a head coach was Boylen with the Bulls?

It’s truly difficult to put it into perspective. The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry did a solid job with this spiel fueled by statistics and references to Boylen’s consistently horrible people skills.

Mayberry wrote:

His .317 winning percentage ranks as the second-worst in franchise history, trailing only Tim Floyd. He was promoted in hopes that he could instill discipline and improved habits into one of the league’s youngest rosters, and instead the Bulls rebelled, regressed and repeatedly lost. He implemented an offensive system that either didn’t fit his roster or one in which his players were ill-prepared to play. Most damning is how, in spite of his celebrated care factor, he butted heads with several players. More than a few players this season voiced frustration with Boylen’s methods, some even openly mocking him.

In a separate Mayberry piece that captured an asinine quote about being a “CEO” from Boylen, the Athletic’s Bulls reporter wrote:

Jerry Reinsdorf asked me to be the CEO,” Boylen told The Athletic in October. “He never said ‘coach’ to me one time. (It was) ‘Hire the right people. Get them organized. Set the course. Maintain the course. Correct the course.’ That’s what he asked me to do. I’m here to lead. The great head coaches are leaders.” On the face of it, their continued confidence in Boylen comes off as tone-deaf. But internally, the Bulls believe Boylen is in fact a competent head coach and remain curious about what he might be capable of when everything is stripped away so that he may focus solely on coaching. As his tenure wore on last season, Boylen wielded more and more authority, focusing his attention on relatively trivial matters ranging from how the media relations staff operated to game night meetings with season ticket holders shortly before tip-off. Boylen reveled in being the leading figure of the Bulls and having his fingerprints on so many aspects of the organization.

If the Knicks did decide to employ Boylen is some fashion, gaining too much power would not be a concern.

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