When Jim Boylen took over for Fred Hoiberg as the Chicago coach midseason, he came in as an old-school hard-a** who had players running suicides and other high-school drills not seen much on the NBA level. It didn’t sit well with some of the players, including Zach LaVine, who said, “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.”
Times have changed. The Bulls got healthy and are playing respectable ball, with LaVine as one of their primary scorers (he’s averaging 28.5 points per game in his last 10, shooting 45.2 percent from three).
Boylen and LaVine are on the same page, so much so that LaVine has offered to pay Boylen’s fine for getting ejected vs. the Clippers, reports Malika Andrews of ESPN.
Hours after Bulls coach Jim Boylen was ejected for arguing with LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Friday night, Zach LaVine contacted Chicago’s front office and offered to pay Boylen’s fine, league sources told ESPN.
It’s a nice gesture, but league rules stipulate the person fined has to pay the bill. The fact someone in the organization leaked this suggests it was an effort at spin to show how much the players love their coach now. It’s a $7,000 fine, LaVine can certainly afford it, he is making $19.5 million this season.
The ejection itself happened with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter when Boylen wanted an offensive foul call on the Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell for too aggressive a screen. Boylen yelled at Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers. Both started arguing and referee Jason Phillips hit them with a technical. That didn’t stop the coaches, Boylen and Rivers kept on going at each other, which led to the second technical and an automatic ejections.
The Clippers are a physical team, but when asked about the incident after the game Rivers suggested Boylen should have his players call out screens.