Boylen: Bulls 'moving on' after team meetings

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Dec 11 2018 09:54 AM

While the results remain to be seen, Chicago Bulls players and head coach Jim Boylen appear to agree that team meetings Sunday were productive following a historic loss against the Boston Celtics a day earlier.

The Bulls endured a franchise-worst, 56-point rout by Boston during which Boylen made five-player substitutions and said he benched his starters because he wanted them to be fresh for a Sunday practice.

Reports swirled that players were on the verge of a revolt, but Boylen insists that only "a couple of guys" didn't want to practice after a long week that included a game or a practice for seven consecutive days.

"The truth is we had a couple guys that thought a Sunday practice was excessive after the week we had," Boylen said. "And they have to trust me that if I bring them in here to practice, I'm going to manage their legs and manage what we're going to do."

"We're together," forward Bobby Portis told reporters Monday at the team's shootaround.

"I think we came out the better for it," added center Robin Lopez of the Sunday meetings. "I think we're more understanding."

Boylen added, "Everybody is allowed to make a mistake. Everybody is allowed to get sideways a little bit. This is an emotional roller coaster at this level."

"So, new coach, tough week, big win(over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday), we got our butt kicked. Everybody is human," he added.

"Everybody has a reason to do what they do, and a lot of times we've all done it where we look back and say, 'God, I wish I would've done that differently.' We could've handled that differently."

USA Today reported Monday that the Bulls' front office has given Boylen the green light to "push more, coach harder and make progress" -- things that were not happening with Fred Hoiberg at the helm.

The team is 1-2 under Boylen, who replaced Hoiberg as head coach last week. Hoiberg was considered to be a players' coach, while Boylen has not disguised his plans to be a more confrontational and intense taskmaster on the sideline.

"(Sunday) was a blessing for where we have to go," Boylen told reporters. "What was best was coming in, being together and growing. Some guys felt that was excessive. We cleared that up, and we're moving on."

The Bulls host the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

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