The Bulls Finally Fired Fred Hoiberg, Here's Why Nothing Will Change

The Bulls Finally Fired Fred Hoiberg, Here's Why Nothing Will Change

Yes Hoiberg and the Bulls were bad, but that wasn't his fault - blame the front office.

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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.

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn't sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It's obvious your calling wasn't coaching and you weren't meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn't have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn't your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that's how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “It's not what you say, its how you say it."

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won't even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don't hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That's the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she's the reason I continued to play."

I don't blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn't working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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ASU Baseball Is Already Knocking It Out Of The Park

All eyes are on the Sun Devils as they enter the national poll this previous week. The Sun Devils are the last unbeaten team left in the NCAA.

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Starting off the season 18-0? Not bad, considering the Sun Devils' haven't gone undefeated at the start of the NCAA baseball season since 2010 when they went 24-0, but honestly where did this come from? In the 2017-18 season, the Devils finished off with 23-32, sitting towards the bottom of the Pac-12. Now they're the top of the conference, past the usual Pac-12 baseball powerhouse, Oregon State.

On a team with only 27 on the roster, which makes it the smallest team in the Pac-12, you wouldn't really expect such an explosive start to the season. Take a look at the improvements made, though, and you'll see why.

For starters, catcher Sam Ferri is back healthy and ready for this season to start with both pitchers Alec Marsh and RJ Dabovich, who've both thrown some great games, but if we're being honest here, have been a little inconsistent with a few errors, but have been backed up by the offense to get the job done.

On offense, Hunter Bishop and Spencer Torkelson are the ones to watch out for. Torkelson was named Pac-12 freshman of the year last year, after setting the Pac-12 freshman record of home runs. Now he's back with some deadly at-bat presence, as you can always expect a few RBIs from him, and also doing a great job at infield (#TorkBomb). Bishop's following suit, with major at-bats against Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Xavier.

Safe to say being ranked #23 right now is huge for a program that struggled majorly in the past seasons and has had some great players transfer out recently. Despite being faced with huge adversity before the season, this lineup is really producing some good stuff this year, and by being undefeated through the first month of play really exemplified that.

Hats off to Head Coach Tracy Smith for helping these young men after having the program suffer for a while.

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