"We had a lot of guys down ... and keep trying to play the right way with the guys out there".
According to Vincent Goodwill and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Bulls players went as far as to contact the National Basketball Players' Association over coach Jim Boylen's handling at the team.
The problem is, Boylen appears to be headed back to a Thibsian approach to coaching, driving players hard, being an intense disciplinarian when players make mistakes, and working them aggressively in practices.
Boylen then denied the players had called for the meetings, and said they were his idea. Instead, the team held two meetings - one with the players airing grievances among themselves and one with coaches to do the same.
By benching the starters twice in five-for-five substitutions, Boylen walked the fine line between holding players accountable and embarrassing them.
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Boylen's group was reportedly near a full-blown mutiny after he called for practice on Sunday.
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.
"I don't think anybody in here thought we were going to ease into this thing". 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. They were on minute restrictions Monday night, and Boylen said the Bulls would reassess the pair's minutes going forward after seeing how they feel Tuesday morning. We cleared that up, and we're moving on. And we're going to work at getting there. Dunn acknowledged that he had to shake off a little bit of rust, but both players were excited to be back on the floor.
They committed a season-high 27 turnovers, watched a 14-point first-half lead slip away and couldn't match the energy level of a West Coast team finishing a four-games-in-seven-nights road trip in the Midwest. "That's all I'm anxious about is getting wins for this team and hopefully we can get further than we did a year ago".