After making the playoffs every season from 2009 to 2015, including every season Thibodeau was head coach, the Bulls playoff streak ended in Hoiberg’s first season in charge. Now, the team is at risk of missing the postseason for the second year in a row.
Whenever a team fails, there are many parties that deserve blame. Players, coaches, and front office executives are all somewhat complicit.
But coach Hoiberg has come under fire from his star player, forward Jimmy Butler, multiple times in the past. And according to this report from Ken Berger of Bleacher Report, major distrust continues to brew between the Bulls stars and their head coach:
Yet the belief persists in front office circles that Butler is no fan of Hoiberg. In fact, a scout with a rival team told Bleacher Report he’s witnessed persistent episodes when Butler, Rondo and Wade have ignored plays Hoiberg has called.
“When Fred would call plays on the sideline, Rondo would just flat-out blow him off,” said the scout, who spoke with Bleacher Report on the condition of anonymity. “Wade does it, too. Butler does it, too. … That becomes infectious.”
This report says a lot about why a team as talented as the Bulls has struggled to get results all season. If the coach has lost control over his star players, it would be impossible for him to manage the team.
While this is obviously a bad omen for Hoiberg’s future in Chicago, it also wouldn’t be surprising to see Butler, Wade, and Rondo all in different uniforms come next year. There is a chance the front office decides to give Hoiberg another chance with a fresh roster.