Brownie Points

Column: A Depressed Bulls Fan Takes Away Brownie Points

Kyle Brown | The PhoenixThe NBA began its strike in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Aug. 26.

Why hello there, friend. Welcome to the first Brownie Points of the new decade. It’s been a little while since the last Brownie Points, so let me explain how this column works. I serve as the Brownie Points Czar and give out brownie points to teams or players who have performed well. I can also take Brownie Points away if I feel it necessary.

I’m generally a positive guy, and I really didn’t want to start 2020 off on a negative foot. Yet, the Chicago Bulls — specifically head coach Jim Boylen — have simply left me no choice but to snatch away Brownie Points.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. A Loyola Phoenix column complaining about Chicago professional sports? What is this, Nick Knacks? But like I said, the Bulls just forced my hand.

I’ve been patient with the Bulls’ struggles in recent years. I understand that going from a bottom-feeder to a title contender takes time and a certain bit of luck. But, wow, the Bulls have made seemingly no progress in the past few years.

The Bulls traded away their star Jimmy Butler during the 2017 NBA Draft and have proceeded to be mediocre at best and hot garbage at their worst.

This year is the only season they’ve even come close to sniffing the playoffs since trading away Butler, and the Bulls are still a long-shot to reach the postseason.

The worst part is that the Bulls have a decent collection of talent. Zach LaVine is a borderline All-Star, while Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter, Jr. have both shown flashes of being potential stars.

Markkanen has been especially confusing and disappointing. He’s completely regressed from last year, with his points per game dropping from nearly 19 to below 15 this season. 

So, the talent is there, but why hasn’t the success followed? Well, that answer lies with Boylen. The cliche-loving coach constantly preaches about the heart, energy and spirit of his squad. But the Bulls don’t need those corny personality traits. What they really need are tangible results, but those have been far and few.

Boylen’s record in his year-and-a-half at the helm has been just 33-70. The Bulls will be mired in mediocrity as long as Boylen is around screaming about “practicing hard.”

Due to Boylen’s overall incompetence, it’s with some pleasure but overall sadness that I snatch some Brownie Points. I’ve settled on four points, one for each loss the team has suffered by more than 20 points this season. 

I want to make it crystal clear that these are strictly due to Boylen’s inability to coach effectively. I still stand behind the individual players on the team. While they all have their flaws, I believe nearly all of them are capable of being solid NBA players, if used correctly. 

Jim Boylen, however, is a clown.

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