Chicago Bulls players contacted the National Basketball Players Association on Sunday to express concern over "extreme tactics" used by head coach Jim Boylen, Vincent Goodwill and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported.
According to the report, Bulls players filed a report with the NBPA after Boylen called for a lengthy practice following back-to-back games. Chicago is coming off the worst loss in franchise history: a 56-point pounding at the hands of the Celtics on Saturday.
Sunday's move is the culmination of growing divide between the players and their new coach, who has been at the helm for just one week after replacing fired coach Fred Hoiberg on Monday.
Boylen reportedly held three two-and-a-half hour practices during his first week and had players running extra wind sprints and doing military-style pushups. During the team's ugly loss on Saturday, Boylen subbed out all five players twice and insulted those on the floor.
Boylen's group was reportedly near a full-blown mutiny after he called for practice on Sunday. Late Saturday night, a team veteran initiated a group text to discuss whether or not players would show up to the practice facility. The players compromised among themselves and decided to make an appearance on Sunday but not practice. Instead, the team held two meetings – one with the players airing grievances among themselves and one with coaches to do the same.
"It was something that we needed to do, and I am happy with the results,” Zach LaVine said, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “The main thing that we can tell you guys is that we went in there and we went in as a unit. I think we needed to get a lot of stuff off our chest and be transparent. I think moving forward that will help us.”
After Monday's shootaround, Boylen added that he also believed the team meetings were necessary but pushed back on the notion that the team did not want to practice on Sunday.
"That is not true," Boylen said. "The truth is we had a couple guys that thought a Sunday practice was excessive after the week we had. And they have to trust me that if I bring them in here to practice, I'm going to manage their legs, and manage what we're going to do. We cleared that up and we're moving on. Everybody is allowed to make a mistake. Everybody is allowed to get sideways a little bit. This is an emotional roller coaster at this level. So, new coach, tough week, big win, we got our butt kicked. Everybody is human. Everybody has a reason to do what they do and a lot of times we've all done it where we look back and say, 'God, I wish I would've done that differently.' We could've handled that differently."
The team is 1–2 in the three games it has played under Boylen and will host Sacremento on Monday at 8 p.m. ET.