Bulls embolden coach Jim Boylen to run things his way

No matter which side of this Chicago Bulls turmoil you come down on — in favor of the players or the coach — Bulls management is siding with new coach Jim Boylen.

In the moment, that’s all that matters. The front office has emboldened Boylen to push more, coach harder and make progress — things that weren’t happening under Fred Hoiberg, who was fired last week.

Some Bulls players were unhappy with Boylen — a hard-charging veteran assistant who is the opposite of Hoiberg — for a variety of seasons following a franchise worst 56-point loss to Boston on Saturday: for grueling two-hour practices last week, for subbing five players at once, for scheduling a practice following a back-to-back and for calling out players publicly for their lack of toughness and conditioning.

Boylen’s demanding style has been a shock to some players, who threatened to boycott Sunday’s practice. It has been reported and confirmed by Boylen and others close to that situation that it was just a few players who wanted to send a message to their new coach.

Players didn’t revolt, but it led to a players-only meeting Sunday and then a meeting with players and coaches. Multiple people told USA TODAY that Sunday’s turmoil was necessary to get where the Bulls want to go. They said players and Boylen are trying to move forward on the same page.

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