NBA: Bulls dump Jim Boylen as coach after 22-43 campaign

jim boylen
Jim Boylen (AFP Photo / JONATHAN DANIEL)

Jim Boylen has been fired as coach of the Chicago Bulls, the club announced Friday, with new leadership sought after missing the NBA playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.

Boylen went 39-84 after taking over the Bulls in December 2018, including a 22-43 campaign in 2019-20 that ended with the league shutdown on March 11 for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas, a retired Lithuanian star player, says the search for a new coach has already started.

"After doing a comprehensive evaluation and giving the process the time it deserved, I ultimately decided that a fresh approach and evolution in leadership was necessary," Karnisovas said.

"This was a very difficult decision, but it is time for our franchise to take that next step as we move in a new direction and era of Chicago Bulls basketball."

Karnisovas was hired in April, followed by new general manager Marc Eversley, to try and revive the moribund Bulls, who have only once gone beyond the second round of the playoffs since Michael Jordan led the Bulls to the 1998 crown.

"The signal to the fanbase is that we're changing things," Karnisovas said. 

"It signals that we're looking forward to what's coming next. We felt this program needed change, and needed change now. I can't wait to find the next coach for this group."

There is no set number of candidates or deadline before the process is completed.

"We're going to continue focusing on player development, someone who puts relationships with players first and is a good communicator," Karnisovas said.

"My responsibility is to move this organization on a trajectory of success... I am committed to cultivating a culture dedicated to winning and (that) has its sights set on championships."

The Bulls shifted John Paxson to an advisor role after directing basketball operations for 17 years and fired Gar Forman as general manager after the hiatus began.