Billy Donovan on Zach LaVine declining walk-off interview after Bulls' win: 'It’s been handled internally'


CHICAGO (670 The Score) – Two days after Bulls guard Zach LaVine found himself at the center of drama after declining a walk-off interview with the team’s flagship television station and leaving the court without celebrating with his teammates after a comeback win, coach Billy Donovan on Monday said the matter has been handled internally.

LaVine was asked by a team official to conduct a postgame interview on the court Saturday but brushed her away. As LaVine walked down the tunnel after the Bulls erased an early 21-point deficit to earn a much-needed 102-97 win against the Heat, his teammates celebrated with one another on the floor.

“I want everybody to treat each other with respect and class and help each other do their job,” Donovan said. “Because we all have jobs to do, and they’re very demanding and they’re difficult. And there’s emotions in that, right? The only thing I’ll say about it is it’s been handled internally. It’s been discussed internally. I don’t want to get into what those conversations are or what happened, but certainly, it’s been addressed. That would be my wish – that everybody helps each other in their job, at handling their job, in doing their job to the best of their ability.”

The bigger context of the incident Saturday was that LaVine and his representation have made it known that he’d like a trade out of Chicago, according to reports. Given how LaVine has conducted himself recently and the Bulls’ struggles as they’ve started 5-9, it feels like a matter of time before he’s dealt elsewhere.

Donovan declined to say exactly which Bulls official handled the matter with LaVine. Now in his fourth year in Chicago, Donovan praised LaVine for how he has treated everyone on the whole during his time coaching the Bulls.

When asked if LaVine is still “all in” for the team, Donovan responded that he sees LaVine giving his best effort on the floor.

“I didn’t see anything different from him in that locker room when he sat there,” Donovan said of LaVine’s demeanor after the Bulls’ win Saturday. “I did not. I didn’t get a guy who was not in the locker room or in a different room or upset or pouting or turned around or whatever … I saw a normal Zach in there. That’s what I saw.

“I see a guy on the floor that’s trying to win.”

LaVine is averaging 21.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 14 games. He’s shooting 42.7% overall and 34.0% on 3-pointers, both well below his career averages.

Cody Westerlund is an editor for and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.

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