The Chicago Bulls have lost four-straight games, including a brutal 108-107 last-second loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday, where Billy Donovan made the decision to bench Zach LaVine in the final four minutes.
LaVine shot a career-worst 1-of-14 from the field in the loss which promoted Donovan to keep his All-Star on the bench as the Bulls made a run to get back in the game.
Following the loss, LaVine voiced his frustration in Donovan’s decision, saying that ‘you play a guy like me down the stretch.’ After Sunday’s practice, LaVine confirmed that he and Donovan are ‘all good.’
“I don’t want to get this blown out of proportion to the point we’re talking about a loss,” said LaVine. “We’re all good. I think he understands where I’m coming from. And I understand his decisions as a coach that he has to make are tough. Even if your players don’t agree with it. That’s just what it is.”
Donovan also confirmed that he and LaVine we’re on good terms following his benching, saying that he appreciated LaVine’s competitiveness and and the open dialogue that the two share.
“I always feel like I can say anything to Zach and I think he can say anything to me,” Donovan said. “I’m not going to love everything they say to me, and they’re not going to love everything I say to them. It comes back to your intentions and what you’re trying to do. Like anything else in a relationship or family, not everybody’s going to see eye to eye on everything.”
LaVine understood the reasoning behind the benching due to his brutal shooting performance, but believed as an All-Star and leader of this team, has earned the right to stay in the game and have the opportunity to shoot out of his slump.
“I just told him I feel like I’ve earned the right to go out there and try to play through a bad game,” LaVine said. “Everybody has a career-low night. Mine happened to be that night. Do I think I could have played better? Of course.”
It’s still early in the season but the Bulls have lost four-straight and currently sit outside of both the playoff and play-in picture. For LaVine and Donovan, they know the business and to right this ship, both have to move on.
“We’re grown men, it’s a grown man’s business. There’s gonna be uncomfortable days. Just like in any sport or any business, you’re not gonna agree on every decision made. So you talk about it, you move on from it and you understand where the other side is coming from.”