Today’s Fastbreak columnist Joseph Nardone has some ideas for how Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg can “coach harder.”
Jimmy Butler made some interesting comments after the Chicago Bulls lost to the New York Knicks on Saturday. Basically, Butler would like first-year head coach Fred Hoiberg to coach harder. Essentially, Butler was talking about Hoiberg being too laid-back and not hard enough on the guys. You know, the professional athletes who we are often told don’t need college-ish motivational tactics or speeches or strict disciplinary measures because they’re adults.
The idea of an NBA head coach is something I’ve always struggled with. Are they mere talent managers, true in-game tacticians, or a combination of them both. Do they have that much worth at all? I never know how to balance their place and value in the realm of pro hoops.
What Butler said feels like something that can and possibly will undermine Hoiberg. Being in his first season with the franchise, and his first as a professional head coach, there are no loyalties from the players on the roster to Hoiberg. Every single person involved owes the other nothing.
While it seems as if Butler didn’t intentionally mean to hurl Fred Hoiberg under the hypothetical bus, it does provide us with some serious fodder moving forward. However, there are guys much closer to the Bulls than I. It’d be strange for me to guess as to what the Sam Cassell is going on over in Chicagoland. That said, it does make me want to try to answer a question…
How does Fred Hoiberg coach harder? I ask because there’s an assumption running through my cold, nearly-dead veins which makes me think that if Hoiberg gave the type of coaching Butler is asking for that he would’ve lost the team by now.
Butler said, “…when guys aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, you got to get on guys.” That’s all well and fine — and probably even true. Yet Hoiberg has made an effort to treat Chicago’s players with some deserved respect by not giving them the old college-to-pro-coach routine. He’s tried to defend guys who haven’t played well to the media, and behind closed doors I imagine he’s deathly afraid of calling out a Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah for bad play. Losing those types of players, with the latter being a leader and fixture in the locker room, would be detrimental to his job security.
Regardless, if Jimmy Butler wants Fred Hoiberg to coach harder, being more stringent with the guys, so be it. Here are the steps he needs to take.
Step One — Joakim Noah needs to be told he isn’t as good as he was. Still a guy of consequence, his run of mattering to the team as a guy on the court isn’t near the level it used to be. Hoiberg needs to tell Noah to be silent, enjoy the minutes he still gets, and prepare the world for a Bobby Portis future.
Step Two — Tell Derrick Rose to stop shooting. Also ask Rose if he can still dunk a basketball. Go as far as suggesting to him that he’s Chicago’s fourth-best player and that he’d be traded if he didn’t bow down to Overlord Fred Hoiberg. And, yes, Hoiberg from now on refers to himself in the third-person.
Step Three — Have Doug McDermott hang from a pole with two buckets filled with cement dangling from his feet. Force McBucket’s body to grow another few inches so Hoiberg has that stretch 4 he wants so badly.
Step Four — Trade Taj Gibson so all Bulls basketbloggers are happy. Then trade back for him to make them angry. Coaching hard isn’t only reserved for the players.
Step Five — Have Pau Gasol run the point-guard position a few possessions per game. If Butler wants him to coach harder, Hoiberg has to be firm in implementing his offensive system he used while at Iowa State. With the Cyclones, there were no true positions assigned to the team. Centers and power forwards would regularly bring the ball up the court. This also means Jimmy Butler playing some of the 5.
Step Six — Force Tony Snell to watch hours upon hours of Tony Snell highlights. Haaarrrdddd.
Step Seven — Bench Jimmy Butler for talking about the head coach out of turn. While what Butler said may very well be true, if he wants Hoiberg to coach harder or whatever, repercussions must be had. Also, force Butler to watch Tony Snell highlights.
Are you happy now, Jimmy Butler?