"BOYLEN RELIEVED AS BULLS HEAD COACH" it read Friday morning, breaking much-needed good news in in our generally difficult times. Lifting our collective spirit, heart and soul, one might even say.
But Boylen was merely fired, even if at long last. It's the rest of us who are relieved. Relieved that one of the single biggest boneheads in the history of Chicago sports will no longer actively impede the progress of an organization with his unparalleled combination of tactical incompetence, inability to communicate and a comical air of self-importance betrayed by manifest professional insecurity.
We're relieved that new lead basketball executive Arturas Karnisovas eventually saw what was so obvious since the doomed Boylen experiment began on Dec. 3, 2018 and that he was able to make the move without interference from above. Relieved that he's as empowered as he claimed upon taking the job as executive vice president of basketball operations, relieved that he and general manager Marc Eversley listened to the players they pledged to support, relieved that the Bulls are serious about changing a culture that had become a laughingstock among NBA players.
Now, we can get on with things.
I've done my best to chronicle the Jim Boylen saga from the moment it began, and below are 18 columns that added up to 11,050 words. The one from Dec. 18, 2018 is my personal favorite, an early satirical appreciation of just how silly he already looked in his position, despite so many still trying to take him seriously.
Let's relive one of the dumbest coaching eras in our city's sports memory, as we watched each next chapter unfold. Each link below is the headline of a column that I wrote at the time.
And now we're sure to have someone so much better at the job no matter the eventual choice. The Bulls promise to be professional, competent, organized and significantly more intelligent and informed. The new coach will be a partner of the players instead of an antagonist, a builder of relationships currently nonexistent, and the new leader is unlikely to be a similar source of bewilderment, exasperation, astonishment and -- let's face it -- entertainment.
It's time to let quality basketball do that instead, as should be the case. The final curtain has dropped for an unforgettable clown show.