Chicago Bulls: Could Fred Hoiberg walk away soon?

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

As the Chicago Bulls go through another lost season under head coach, Fred Hoiberg, it’s fair to wonder: how much longer he’ll want to remain in the organization?

Fred Hoiberg couldn’t have known at the time what he signed up for back in 2015. Becoming head coach of the Chicago Bulls was supposed to be a profile booster for an offensive guru climbing up the college ranks. Instead, three seasons into the gig, his coaching tenure has turned into nothing more than a punch line.

This is the sad reality that most newcomer coaches face once they test the waters of professional sports. Initially, rookie coaches become sold on the notion that the situation they’re walking into is a perfect fit for their scheme. Maybe the personnel isn’t exactly up to speed yet, but at least the coach should have some freedom to run things his way. Right?

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Not if that guy is the former Iowa State head basketball coach from 2010-2015. Hoiberg unknowingly walked into a bad situation three seasons ago. It’s become worse ever since.

For the first two seasons of his coaching tenure with the Bulls, Hoiberg hardly had any freedom to implement his coaching philosophy onto his players. That’s because the Bulls, prior to this season, had “prima donna” veterans running the show. Outspoken players: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, and Jimmy Butler all wanted the microphone to be in their hands. While the rest of the role players were supposed to just listen and follow their lead.

Anytime Hoiberg said something to his past Bulls’ teams, it usually went in one ear, out the other. That’s because the front office became trapped in their “remain relevant at all costs” ways. Rose, Wade, Rondo, and Butler: all attention-seeking getters, can generate headlines in their sleep through their words and actions. They were the ones running the show unfortunately. Not Hoiberg, who’s paid to do so.

The organization and it’s head coach weren’t a good match from the moment they met. If Hoiberg were taking over as head coach in 2017 instead of 2015, maybe their miserable marriage to date would paint a completely different story, given he’d have a more prominent voice in the locker room now that the Bulls are officially in rebuild mode.

Now, Hoiberg finally has a team he can control. A 3-17 team, that currently owns the worst record in the NBA. At least now “Hoiball” can be implemented in full-effect. Spreading the ball around to find the open shooter. Rather than having ball-dominant veteran guards wasting valuable possessions.

With that being said though, after all the losing Hoiberg has dealt with over the past three seasons, at some point he has to consider: is being mediocre for the foreseeable future really worth all the time and energy spent?

Despite having losing seasons, or failing to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs in his Bulls’ coaching tenure, Hoiberg is not a bad coach. He just has a mediocre roster. And he’s coaching for an even more mediocre front office.

A front office, who for the most part has failed to surround Hoiberg with players who fit his system. Now, Hoiberg is supposed to coach through an uncertain rebuild. One which could find the Bulls being as terrible as past Philadelphia 76ers’ teams for years to come.

Losing games regularly will impair any head coach’s confidence. Even worse, slowly shattering their once promising image in the process. That’s why successful college coaches in various sports who’ve made the jump to the pros, only to struggle, find themselves aborting the mission before all is lost.

With each defeat moving forward, Hoiberg’s reputation as a head coach further takes a nose-dive. If that’s not enough motivation for him to bolt out the door soon, what is?

Maybe the fact that the front office has a difficult time evaluating talent on a day-to-day basis. Making lopsided trades that hurt the team in the long-run as opposed to help. Not to mention the collection of questionable draft selections over the years.

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All of this must haunt Hoiberg during his sleep. Can he really trust the front office to help speed up a rebuilding process by making smart decisions, rather than irrational ones?

The answer to that concern should be an emphatic “no”. And since that appears to be the case moving forward, Hoiberg should jump ship soon. For his sake, rather than the organization’s.