Zach LaVine Spoke with Jim Boylen Amid Bulls Drama: 'This Isn't a Dictatorship'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2018

Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen talks with Zach LaVine during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in Indianapolis. Indiana won 96-90. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Jim Boylen's first week as head coach of the Chicago Bulls featured no shortage of drama, with players reportedly discussing a boycott of practice over the weekend.

Wanting to try to clear the air, Zach LaVine and the rest of the Bulls recently sat down with Boyle, per ESPN's Malika Andrews and Ramona Shelburne. LaVine told ESPN: 

"You just want to be real with people. There shouldn't be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them.

"This is a business, this isn't a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice." 

Chicago suffered the worst loss in franchise history Saturday night, a 56-point beatdown at the hands of the Boston Celtics. That led Boylen to call the team's performance "disappointing" and "embarrassing."

According to Andrews and Shelburne, players subsequently considered skipping Sunday's practice—which they expected to be "grueling"—to send a message after they were unhappy with how Boylen managed Saturday's game. Instead, though, they opted to hold a players-only meeting followed by a sitdown with the coaching staff.

During the meeting with the coaches, the concept of a leadership committee was discussed, as it would help keep the lines of communication between the two sides open.

According to The Athletic's Darnell Mayberry, Boylen spent the early days of his tenure trying to establish a new culture, one that made it clear that there was a "new sheriff in town." Andrews and Shelburne noted that Bulls management encouraged the new coach's stern approach.

That doesn't mean the players were on board, though.

And while LaVine told Mayberry that he was "happy" with the results of Sunday's meetings, the Bulls didn't respond very well in their next game. Despite holding an 11-point halftime lead, Chicago was beaten 108-89 by the Sacramento Kings on Monday, marking its 13th loss in 15 games.

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