After a 5-19 start, the last-place Chicago Bulls fired head coach Fred Hoiberg.
The Bulls promoted assistant coach Jim Boylen to head coach. Hoiberg compiled a 115-155 record in four seasons with the Bulls. The Mayor is the nevermore.
The Bulls competed in the rough and tumble Central Division. They only boasted one winning season under Hoiberg and only one postseason berth. In Hoiberg’s rookie season as a head coach, the Bulls finished 42-40. They lost Derrick Rose to an injury and bubbled the playoffs with a ninth-place finish in the Eastern conference. The Bulls missed the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.
In his second season, the Bulls traded Rose, but finished 41-41 and locked up the #8 seed. The top-seeded Boston Celtics knocked them out of the first round in six games. That marked the last time they were in the postseason.
Last season, the Bulls were in rebuilding mode after they traded Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Without Butler, the Bulls struggled with a 37-55 record and their first losing season since 2008.
The Bulls tanked and landed Wendell Carter, Jr. from Duke with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
This year, the Bulls got off to a 0-3 start and lost eight of their first ten games. They never improved.
President of basketball operations John Paxson said, “The move is less about the record and more about an energy and a spirit that the team is lacking.”
Several key players missed time with injuries including forward Lauri Markkanen. In addition, Kris Dunn, Bobby Portis, and Denzel Valentine missed games with various ailments.
Fred Hoiberg, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, made a name for himself a high school hoops legend in Ames, Iowa. Hoiberg won a state championship and got named Mr. Iowa, as the state’s top basketball player.
The slick sharpshooter did not stray far from home and attended Iowa State. In college, Hoiberg garnered the nickname ‘The Mayor’ because he was more famous than the mayor of Ames.
In his last two seasons with the Cyclones, Hoiberg averaged 20 points per game. The Indiana Pacers drafted Hoiberg in the second round of the 1995 NBA Draft. Hoiberg averaged 5.5 points per game over his career. The Mayor rode the bench for ten years in the NBA with stops in Indiana, Chicago, and Minnesota.
In 2010, Iowa State hired their native son to coach the Cyclones. The Mayor was coming home.
In 2013-14, Hoiberg guided the Cyclones to a 28-8 record. They went all the way to the Sweet 16, but their run in March Madness ended there.
In five seasons with Iowa State, Hoiberg finished with a 115-56 record.
The Chicago Bulls hired The Mayor in 2015. It marked another homecoming of sorts for Hoiberg. He played a couple of seasons with the Bulls during some rough years in the wake of Michael Jordan retiring.
The Bulls are in the middle of six-game losing streak. They also lost 10 out of their last 11 games. With only five wins, they have yet to post back-to-back victories this season.
Newly-appointed head coach Jim Boylen said, “I hope what we can do is own Bulls across our chest better. I don’t think we’ve owned it very well. And we have a lot to play for in this program and this place. So, to me, that’s where it’s got to go. Who we’re playing for, what city were representing, and I’m going to preach those things every day.”
Boylen gets his first stint as a head coach at the professional level. He spent two decades as an assistant Golden State, Milwaukee, Indiana, San Antonio, and Houston.
“We want Jim to be our head coach next season,” Paxson said. “We still believe in the direction we are going. And we believe in the young players we have, and we expect them to raise their level, raise their competitiveness as we make this change.”
The South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas listed the Bulls at 1000-1 odds to win the NBA championship. The Bulls were 250-1 odds during the preseason.