The Chicago Bulls suffered the worse loss in franchise history after going up against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.
The resurgent Cs dealt a 56-point deficit to their weekend opponents, beating them 133-77 on their home floor.
Recently appointed head coach Jim Boylen would shockingly pull all five of his starters out of the game on two occasions in order to send a message. But that wasn't well received and the players have all pushed back.
Boylen explained that he decided to go that route as the players would be better used in an energetic training session than in a game they were going to lose anyway. However, the group did not see it that way and, per Chicago Tribune writer K.C. Johnson, they exchanged text messages debating whether they should boycott practice on Sunday.
They eventually decided to show up but they refused to practice, telling coaching staff they wanted a player's only meeting instead. Their gathering was then followed up by a meeting with the coaches.
Boylen, who only took over from Fred Hoiberg last week, has already managed to rub all of his players the wrong way. Yet he has insisted that the meeting was his idea.
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
"Me subbing them is saving them maybe," he told reporters after the heavy weekend loss. "This is about honoring the game and doing the right things. I worked for Gregg Popovich. He subbed five guys a ton of times. Nobody says a word to him about it."
“We had a productive day. We had a good meeting. I was hoping to have a full team practice. But it didn’t happen. The meeting went long," he said in reference to the meeting.
“I think we just all needed to get on the same page," guard Zach LaVine said. "We needed to get a lot of our chests.”
What This Means
The last thing Boylen needs right now is a mutiny. The Bulls have placed their confidence in him and have publicly stated that they want him to be their head coach next season following his many years as an assistant.
His move on Saturday is something a coach pulls when they've earned the respect of their players, the league as a whole and the media.
A coach like Popovich will get away with something like this every time. Boylen, though, will need to build a reputation before attempting such power moves again.