Following the Chicago Bulls‘ 111-101 loss to the struggling Indiana Pacers on Friday night, the rumors of head coach Fred Hoiberg having the hottest seat in the NBA due to the team’s disappointing play over the past month didn’t get any better, according to a story from ESPN’s Marc Stein published prior to the game.
“Someone just mentioned something to me about that. You know, I don’t know anything about it, so I’m not going to comment on it,” Hoiberg told ESPN’s Nick Friedell prior to the loss.
“I’ve got a job to do, which is to try and put this team in a position to go out and win basketball games. Like probably 24 other coaches, I’m trying to find a way for us to go out and play consistent basketball on a nightly basis. We’ve taken some steps at times the last few games, as far as getting back to how we were playing earlier in the year to where I thought we were as good as anyone in the league as far as getting up and down the floor. We gotta find that, we gotta get back to it. So again, my job right now is to do the best job I can as far as putting the game plan together to give us a chance to win the game, and throw it all out there.”
The Bulls’ leader Jimmy Butler hasn’t been shy about sticking up for his coach, both on the court and with the mic in front of him.
“He’s our head coach,” Butler said following his 25-point outing against the Pacers. “Go out there, we play, we fight with him. At the end of the day, that’s all we have. I don’t read those articles so that’s over my head. I just know that he’s here, we want to continue to win games with and for him. We got another one tomorrow, man. He ain’t on no hot seat to me. If we just win games, everything’s good.”
Butler has been the one constant for the team through December, averaging 23.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.5 assists this month and most recently coming out huge with a 40-point performance and a last-second buzzer beater to sink the Brooklyn Nets, his second 40-point game of the season.
Only time and results will tell if the blame is to be set on Hoiberg or Rondo as the Bulls (16-17) near the All-Star break.