Chicago Bulls: Players, experts speak about Fred Hoiberg firing

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls made a surprising move Monday when they fired Head Coach Fred Hoiberg. After the news, experts from around the NBA and Bulls players weighed in on the decision.

The Chicago Bulls fired coach Fred Hoiberg on Monday, stunning fans and experts alike. It was an odd move as the Bulls have been in the process of rebuilding for the last three years.

The team named assistant coach Jim Boylen as head coach and announced their intention to keep him long term.

The team has had injuries to key players like Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn, and they’re just now getting back to 100 percent. It didn’t make much sense that Hoiberg would get fired because of the team’s poor performance when multiple difference-making players were out.

Boylen will now be the sixth head coach of the Bulls under the “GarPax” regime. That combo of Executive VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson and General Manager Gar Forman has long been criticized by fans and media alike for questionable decision making.

This scenario is no different.

It’s extremely frustrating as a Bulls fan to see Forman and Paxson at yet another press conference introducing a new coach where one of them expresses the same ideas about what this team could be.

Paxson reiterated in his press conference on Tuesday that Forman was “Absolutely safe” in his job as GM. It was Forman who took the lead on hiring Hoiberg in 2015. I don’t think firing Forman would change things dramatically for the team, but he doesn’t deserve total job security either.

Former Bulls player and current Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke out on Monday about Hoiberg’s firing and how he thought it was unfair. (Via NBC Sports):

"I look at this as a privilege to coach great talent. You know I look at Fred Hoiberg today, who was released by the Bulls. Fred never had a chance without really any talent to work with, to build something."

It’s no surprise that a coach would stick up for one of his peers after a firing he thought was unjust. Of course, these comments didn’t sit well with Paxson. He made it known that he disagreed with Kerr and made another interesting point. (Via ESPN 1000):

"You will never hear me say anything disparaging about another organization."

That’s odd, especially because Paxson literally disparaged another organization on Monday during his press conference explaining Hoiberg’s firing. Here are his comments on former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and his current team the Minnesota Timberwolves (Via Chicago Bulls):

"There’s a lot of little things that are part of this. A lot of defense is personnel. I mean, Tom [Thibodeau] last year in Minnesota, his defense–his teams weren’t great defensively. A lot of it is personnel."

I understand that Hoiberg wasn’t a great coach. It’s not like I’m saying that he’s the difference in the team being successful and that this move drastically hurts the Bulls. It’s not that severe, but this is yet another signal that the front office doesn’t exactly know what they’re doing.

There is evidence that some players didn’t exactly gel with Hoiberg. Boylen was seen as the “Bad Cop” who would get on players who weren’t playing up to their potential. That’s not a great scenario as that should really be the head coach’s job.

Some players made rather cryptic statements about Hoiberg. Markkanen had this to say on whether or not Hoiberg had control of the locker room (Via Chicago Sun-Times):

"It’s hard to say. It’s so different. I don’t know. That’s a hard question to ask. Like you said, sometimes he did, sometimes he . . . nah. Obviously, players take care of themselves."

That’s not exactly reassuring. I’m confident that Hoiberg was ineffective as a coach. The overarching problem and the problem that has persisted whether the coach was Thibodeau, Hoiberg, Scott Skiles or Vinny Del Negro is GarPax.

The two seemingly unfireable executives repeatedly show how ineffective they are as a duo. It may sound harsh, but they continue to tarnish the reputation of a historic franchise. I have no qualms in saying that as there is overwhelming evidence of their ineptitude.

light. Related Story. Bulls fired the wrong man

As a Bulls fan, I hope I live to see this front office undergo an overhaul. With all the mistakes they make and their continuing job security, I don’t know if GarPax will ever leave Chicago. That’s a scary thought.