Report: Bulls players debated boycotting practice in wake of 56-point loss

Yahoo Sports

2018 has been a disaster for the Chicago Bulls.

They’ve compiled a 6-21 record, good for last place in the Eastern Conference. The miserable start led the front office to fire head coach Fred Hoiberg on Monday. On Saturday, they suffered the worst loss in franchise history, a 56-point drubbing at the hands of the Boston Celtics.

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Mutiny in Chicago?

It’s all added up to too much for some players, who reportedly considered boycotting practice on Sunday.

Some Bulls players reportedly pushed to boycott Jim Boylen’s Sunday practice three games into his tenure. (Getty)
Some Bulls players reportedly pushed to boycott Jim Boylen’s Sunday practice three games into his tenure. (Getty)

Reports: Some players talked team out of practice boycott

The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson reports that players started a group text debating whether or not to show up for practice. They apparently decided against the drastic measure, opting instead for the time-tested players only meeting instead.

After their own meeting, players met with coaches, according to the report.

Johnson clarified that “two or three players” pushed for the boycott while veteran players were “adamant” that they show up.

Report: Lopez, Markkanen were cooler heads

The Athletic reports that Robin Lopez and Lauri Markkanen led the charge against the all-out boycott, convincing their teammates that a more professional approach of showing up to work and having meetings was a more appropriate tact. 

The practice was scheduled after head coach Jim Boylen told reporters he specifically rested starters in the blowout loss so they had to energy to practice on Sunday.

“Why have them play in a game that’s going to be very difficult to win when the benefit to me is going to be practice tomorrow and get better,” Boylen said Saturday. “So that was all premeditated to me in my mind. So I play them more, we lose tonight and can’t practice tomorrow, we double lose.”

Players were reportedly upset about being pulled and the prospect of a full-blown practice the next day.

A source told Johnson that Boylen had someone reveal in the meeting involving coaches and players that he didn’t plan to run a full practice session Sunday, but intended to go over film and have players work on shots as a way of building trust for the former associate head coach who took over the team three games ago.

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