The Bulls entered the season with some hope of competing for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Instead, Chicago is 2-5.
Bulls coach Jim Boylen is pointing a finger at his players.
“I think they need to take more responsibility for their preparedness. I think they need to take more ownership of their readiness to play. The head coaches in this league have never been expected to coach effort. Effort has to come from each guy.
Boylen had a time clock for players installed in the practice facility. That was only one piece of Boylen’s influence on the Bulls.
There was a one-on-one tournament in September, complete with a WWE-style championship belt. There was the beep test, implemented to raise team-wide conditioning. There have been custom-made T-shirts, as reminders for players to take “extreme ownership” and to develop by “inches.” There have been movie clips in film sessions, motivational passages on monitors throughout the practice facility and guessing games in group sessions that test players’ vocabulary.
Yet now that Chicago looks listless, motivation is no longer the coach’s responsibility?
Give me a break.
Motivating players is absolutely part of a coach’s job.
Sure, it’d be nice if everyone brought max effort at all times. And players definitely have some responsibility to motivate themselves. But it’s difficult for players to summon energy and focus throughout a long season. It falls on the coach to inspire them.
He can abdicate that responsibility, but if the Bulls don’t show more urgency, it’ll eventually cost Boylen his job.