Monday morning the Chicago Bulls announced that Fred Hoiberg is no longer their head coach.
Bulls Executive Vice President John Paxson released this statement regarding the decision:
Decisions like this one are never easy to make, however I felt this was the right choice for our organization at this time. After a thorough evaluation, I elected to make this move with the overall development of our team in mind. As a team, I believe it is imperative that we make unfaltering strides in the right direction and build the right habits to help put our players in the best position to evolve not only now, but into the future. I want to thank Fred for his dedication and efforts, as well as for his enduring commitment to our team.
Apparently Hoiberg only found out when he arrived at the team’s practice facility this morning ready to run practice as usual.
Management informed Fred Hoiberg at the team's practice facility this morning. Hoiberg arrived prepared to run 11 am practice.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 3, 2018
Hoiberg was brought on prior to the 2015-16 season after the team’s divorce from Tom Thibodeau. The hope was that he would bring a more uptempo offensive style to the team that would help the team score. Under Thibs ,outside of the individual brilliance of Derrick Rose and then Jimmy Butler, every bucket seemed like an epic struggle.
The scoring struggles never seem to rectify themselves as those offensively challenged Thibodeau team’s posted comparable, and even higher in some cases, offensive numbers to Hoiberg’s teams.
The team middled around .500 in Hoiberg’s first two seasons going 42-40 and 41-41 respectively and losing in the first round of the playoffs 4-2 to the Boston Celtics in 2016-17.
Trading Jimmy Butler seemed to be a signal that the organization was choosing a clear direction and giving Hoiberg the opportunity to fully implement his system with younger players. The prevailing sentiment was the team’s previous struggles was at least in part due to Hoiberg not have players that were not conducive to the way he wanted to play.
The team went 27-55 last season but there were glimpses that the youth movement was the way to go and it appeared that Hoiberg’s job was safe but the 2018-19 season would be a show-and-prove for him.
The Bulls stumbled out of the gates 5-19 but the team has been ravaged by injuries to key players. Lauri Markkanen just returned after missing the first 23 games of the season, while starting point guard Kris Dunn is out with an MCL sprain; power forward Bobby Portis is also our with the same injury. The team is also with our reserve guard Denzel Valentine who will miss the season with an ankle injury.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Hoiberg thought he would at least have a chance to coach a fully healthy roster, but for whatever reason, Bulls brass decided they had seen enough.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that associate head coach Jim Boylen will take over as head coach.
Associate head coach Jim Boylen will take over as the permanent head coach of the Bulls to replace Fred Hoiberg, no interim title, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 3, 2018