Bulls fire Scott Skiles
Chicago Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson today announced that Scott Skiles has been relieved of his duties as the team’s head coach.
In a statement released this morning, Paxson said: “This was a difficult decision to make, but one that was necessary at this time. Scott helped us in many ways during his time with the Bulls; most importantly, he helped this franchise get back to respectability. I am appreciative of his hard work and the imprint that he left on our team.”
At this time, no decision has been made on Skiles’ replacement. On Nov. 28, 2003, Skiles became the fifteenth head coach in franchise history when he succeeded Bill Cartwright. Over the span of five seasons with the Bulls, he compiled a record of 165-172 (.490), and guided the team to the playoffs three consecutive years, highlighted by a first-round series sweep of the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat in the 2007 NBA Playoffs. In eight-plus seasons as a head coach in the NBA, Skiles owns a career coaching record of 281-251 (.528).
InsideHoops.com editor quick reaction: I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, Skiles and the Bulls players clearly have a disconnect this season. He isn't reaching them. They aren't reaching each other. And the team isn't playing hard or together. It's generally on the coach to get the team to step up, play with energy and succeed. Also, Skiles has a reputation of rubbing some players the wrong way. But many Bulls players are also at fault here. Kirk Hinrich got a big contract and then proceeded to have an awful season. Luol Deng and Ben Gordon have underperformed. Ben Wallace is playing like he's 50 years old. Skiles is partially responsible but I place more blame on the players themselves. But again, perhaps management felt that Skiles isn't the right guy to win back their hearts and fix the ship.
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