Billy Donovan's Bulls timeouts feature unconventional quirk

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K.C. Johnson
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Billy Donovan's Bulls timeouts feature unconventional quirk originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Billy Donovan never has hidden the influence Rick Pitino has had on his life and coaching career.

Look closely at a Bulls timeout huddle, and you’ll see that influence take shape in an unconventional manner.

Donovan doesn’t use a greaseboard favored by most coaches in most sports on all levels. Instead, like Pitino, Donovan uses a magnetic board.

“For me, you start drawing these lines on the board and there's lines going everywhere and, at least from my perspective, it can get a little bit confusing," Donovan said. "So to have magnets with guys' numbers and where they're going and you can kind of pull it back and they can kind of see it, I don't know if it's more helpful. I would probably say I'm probably in the minority as it relates to that. I think probably most guys are either using iPads or a greaseboard or writing on it.

"I just think that it's easier for me because if they say, 'Can you do that again?', I don't have to erase the board. I can just move the pieces right back to where they were. I just find it a little easier.”

Before Zach LaVine recently entered the league’s health and safety protocols, NBC Sports Chicago cameras caught LaVine using the board in a conversation with teammates along the baseline. LaVine maneuvered the magnetic pieces around the board like an experienced coach.

“Coach Pitino, that's all he used. That's all I really kinda had coming through and we always just always used them,” Donovan said. “So that's really all I've ever used.”

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