The date was October 29th of this year. It was still a couple days from Halloween, but Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg had to have been scared out of his mind. His Chicago Bulls had just given up 92 points in the first half, one of the worst defensive performances in league history. On top of that, Klay Thompson would finish the game with 14 three-pointers, an NBA record, as the Bulls gave up 149 points in total. Nobody expected the Bulls to be competing for a playoff spot anytime soon, but this game showed just how far away they were from being competitive at all.
The loss to the Warriors dropped the Bulls to 2-5 on the young season. A little over a month later, with the Bulls having lost 14 of their last 17 games, the front office decided a change was needed and sent Hoiberg packing back to the unemployment line where he belongs. Hoiberg lasted three seasons with the team, including a playoff appearance in his first season.
Hoiberg should never have been the Bulls' coach to begin with. The team's previous coach, Tom Thibodeau, was a fan favorite and made the team a perennial contender with their sound fundamentals and lockdown defense. However, there was one key quality that Thibs lacked: he wouldn't suck the dick of the owner Jerry Reinsdorf. A power struggle between the coach and the front office ensued and Thibodeau was shown the door. Looking to add more pace and scoring to the team, the Bulls hired Fred Hoiberg, who was then the coach of an entertaining, yet underachieving, Iowa State team.
Hoiberg wanted to make his new team younger and faster. How did he accomplish this? I'm glad you asked! He signed journeyman point guard Rajon Rondo, who was 30 years old and gave a monster contract to the decaying corpse of Dwayne Wade, who was 34 years old. If you're thinking that this is the exact opposite of what Hoiberg said he wanted to do you would be right. He also shipped fan favorite Derrick Rose to the Knicks. Rose is now having a resurgent season in Minnesota...being coached by Tom Thibodeau. All-NBA forward Pau Gasol also got the hell out of dodge.
Hoiberg was able to increase the offensive capabilities of the Bulls, but without Thibodeau's hard nose style of coaching the Bulls went from one of the best scoring defenses in basketball to absolutely atrocious. Even so, the Bulls squeaked into the postseason just in time to be obliterated by a far superior Boston Celtics team. I had the displeasure of going to game 3 of that series. It was atrocious.
Afterwards the Bulls decided to blow it all up, trading away All-Star Jimmy Butler for two young players and a draft pick. You know who they traded him to? Minnesota, coached by TOM FREAKING THIBODEAU. That draft pick that the Bulls got would end up being Lauri Markkanen, who is best described as "If Dirk Nowitzki was terrible". The team also acquired Kris Dunn and Zach Lavine. While Lavine has been better than advertised, Dunn has been a bust thus far.
Even with Zach Lavine playing his ass off, the Bulls doomed themselves to several years of terrible play through the decision by ownership to prioritize a coach they like over winning. Even with Hoiberg gone, the Bulls are still one of the worst, least talented teams in basketball. All of this thanks to a young coach in over his head and a front office that has no idea what the hell it's doing. There is a reason that the Bulls have pretty much been terrible since Michael Jordan retired: the front office doesn't know how to draft or develop players, and until some heads roll in the Chicago Bulls' front office, it's just gonna be more of the same.