In spite of rumors that the Chicago Bulls were aiming to bring in a new head coach for the 2020-21 NBA season, a new report has indicated that Jim Boylen could remain at the helm amid possible financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chicago Sun-Times‘ Joe Cowley reported on Boylen’s status with the Bulls on Thursday.
As shared previously by The Inquisitr, Bulls Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas and General Manager Marc Eversley had considered replacing Boylen with Philadelphia 76ers assistant and former player Ime Udoka. Additionally, Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin — another former player who also spent five years on the Bulls’ coaching staff under Tom Thibodeau — was also said to be under consideration to become the squad’s next head coach.
According to the Sun-Times, Karnisovas and his brain trust have aimed to take a “players-first” approach to running the organization, and Boylen is said to have run afoul of his players at times. Furthermore, the 55-year-old has compiled a win/loss record of just 39-84 with Chicago since taking over for Fred Hoiberg in December of 2018.
However, in spite of Boylen’s uneven results and the desire of Bulls leadership to begin anew with a younger, more player-friendly coach, the Reinsdorf family, who own the Bulls, are reportedly concerned about incurring unnecessary expense — such as hiring a new coach while paying another not to serve in the role. Their concern stems from the ways in which the ongoing pandemic has altered how professional sports leagues are operating.
In the wake of cancelled games and television broadcasts, as well as the inability of fans to pay for tickets and attend events in-person, revenues have taken a hit in the NBA and other leagues. Per a report from ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst and Tim Bontemps, the pandemic effect will likely continue to be felt in the NBA during the ’20-21 campaign, as one Eastern Conference executive told them that “nobody is probably going to operate in the black next season.”
“The only question is how much each of us are going to lose,” the executive added.
As relayed by Cowley, Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told USA Today last month that his losses from the Bulls, Chicago White Sox and the United Center were currently somewhere in the “nine figures” range. Still, the retention of Boylen — who has also been unpopular with a vocal contingent of the Bulls fanbase — for financial reasons could be “a hard pill to swallow” given the fact that the Bulls franchise currently holds a valuation in excess of $3 billion, according to Cowley.