Jim Boylen defends Tom Izzo amid criticism over yelling at player

Michael Allardyce
Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen comes to the defense of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for calling out a player during a game.
Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen comes to the defense of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for calling out a player during a game.

Jim Boylen defends Tom Izzo amid criticism over yelling at player originally appeared on nbcsportschicago.com

Legendary Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo has come under fire after the Spartans' first game of the NCAA Tournament for yelling at freshman Aaron Henry as he walked over to the bench while clearly upset, wagging his finger in Henry's face.

Izzo was still heatedmoments later in the huddle and appeared to lung at Henry before other players reached out to try and calm Izzo down.

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In addition to former players that have come to Izzo's defense, Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen also defended Izzo on Friday.

"I'm disappointed you can't coach somebody hard these days without someone making a big deal about it," Boylen said, via the Chicago Tribune's KC Johnson. 

Boylen continued: "He's direct and honest. He puts time into his guys for permission to be real. He lets guys come back at him and he goes at them. That's the relationship. He's not an absentee father. And guys love playing for him."

In the immediate days after Boylen assumed the head coach role with the Bulls, he had his own tense relationship with players and Boylen didn't back down on his tough-love stance then. His relationship with the Bulls roster seems to have improved significantly, particularly with star Zach LaVine seems who offered to pay a fine Boylen received for an incident during a game while defending the players.

Izzo addressed the incident after the game and was unapologetic in his response, noting the issues he was upset with Henry about were "effort-related."

"There were some things Aaron didn't do a very good job of... I did get after him and he did respond. And he did make a couple of big buckets. And he did make some big free throws but that's not good enough," Izzo told reporters after the game. "This is one-and-done time. The 'my-bads' are out the window... If they're 'my-bads' because I decided to jog back instead of sprint back, then it is your bad and you're going to hear about it. So that's what it was."

Izzo turned it on reporters saying it's simply holding players accountable.

"I get a kick out of you guys," Izzo said. "You get after someone because you're trying to hold them accountable, I don't know what kind of business you're in but I tell you what, if I was the head of a newspaper and you didn't do your job you'd be held accountable. That's the way it is."

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