CHICAGO - When new Bulls head coach Jim Boylen benched his starters for good three minutes into the second half of what ended up being the worst loss in franchise history, players and fans alike wondered why?
"Why have them play in a game that is very difficult to win when the benefit to me is to practice tomorrow and get better.
"We lose tonight and we can't practice tomorrow - we double lose."
A few guys got some shots up at the Advocate Center Sunday afternoon, but a couple of players reportedly debated whether or not to attend practice at all.
Per multiple sources, players started a group text exchange debating whether to show up at practice facility today. They ultimately decided to show up and told coaching staff they wanted players only meeting, which was followed by the meeting with coaches.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 9, 2018
Hearing the same https://t.co/MKjY1pVbog
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) December 9, 2018
According to Wendell Carter Jr., Zach LaVine and Justin Holiday led a players-only meeting instead, which the coaches eventually joined in on.
"We could have basically had just one big meeting because I feel like it was just straight up direct," remarked Carter. "We told them exactly how we felt. We definitely covered a lot of things today. It was really good."
"You don't want to hurt people's feelings," explained LaVine. "I'm a very genuine person. I think I'm very kind. But, sometimes the truth hurts. You have to get to that point to where you can actually be productive. We're a business. We're a commodity. We have to get to that point. I think we did that."
"We're still learning about each other," Boylen noted. "I've moved over the 18 inches and they're still learning how I want it. There's been a little shock and awe here in the last seven days. There's an adjustment to that and that's okay. It's okay."