LOS ANGELES — Jim Boylen and Doc Rivers were both ejected during the third quarter of the Bulls-Clippers game Friday night for arguing. It is something so rare that the NBA and Elias Sports Bureau could not recall or track the last time it has happened.
“I’ve been around a while and I needed something new,” Rivers said after the Clippers’ 128-121 victory.
Boylen was angry because he thought the Clippers were getting away with moving screens. He said one was not called in the first half as Ryan Arcidiacono was hit in the jaw and did not return to the game.
“I spoke with the officials before the half and told them to watch the moving screen,” Boylen said. “They came back at half and said they missed it and I let it go and they set another moving screen at half-court on another of my point guards. I didn’t appreciate it and I let everyone know.”
A sentiment his star guard, Zach LaVine, appreciated.
“What Jim did I personally respect that a lot. He really cares about us and he’s going to fight for us. That shows his true character. The way he feels about us,” LaVine told Bulls beat reporter Sam Smith.
According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews, LaVine was so moved by Boylen’s actions he asked the front office if he could pay his fine.
Update: Bulls management has agreed to allow LaVine to pay Boylen’s fine, league sources said. https://t.co/xvpfDLDT2d
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) March 17, 2019
LaVine and Boylen haven’t always seen eye to eye. The two reportedly had a one-on-one meeting after the team nearly boycotted practice following a 56-point loss to the Celtics in December. Since then, their relationship has steadily improved.
“He’s been very coachable, teachable. He’s grown,” noted Boylen earlier this week. “He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do. It’s been well-documented – we’ve had some pretty good film sessions on what I expect.”