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Billy Donovan reacts to starting in fanless United Center in first season with Bulls

Bulls, Billy Donovan

New Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan recently shared his thoughts on his new team starting the 2020-21 season without fans in the stands. Having experienced the fanless atmosphere of the Disney World bubble with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Donovan knows a thing or two about this unprecedented situation.

In his mind, the 55-year-old Bulls coach believes that this is just something his team will need to play through. Donovan did not deny that it’s going to be tough, but for him, the most important thing right now is to approach this with the proper mindset.

Via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago:

“The biggest thing for all of us is to take the approach that you can view things as a hassle or inconvenience or you can be flexible and say this is the environment we’re living in right now and you know what, there’s no reason to get frustrated or upset. We’ve got to just focus on the things that we can control,” Donovan said.

The Bulls coach also shared his experience in the isolated Orlando campus last season as the head man of the Thunder. While he credited the NBA for doing an excellent job in trying to make the games as comfortable as possible to the players, Donovan also expressed how he believes there’s just nothing like the real thing:

“It was just OK,” Donovan said. “The NBA to their credit did as good of a job as you possibly could of creating an environment inside the building. Now, I would not say that it came across like a playoff game on the road. They tried to do some things to generate some noise in there because I think players are probably used to that.

“What kind of fan noise is going to be piped in? I don’t know. I know players were involved in Orlando of giving feedback on the games.”

As the Bulls coach expressed above, such is the world we are living in right now. The best thing to do is to just make the most out of a dire situation. Donovan did try to make light of the situation by making a joke about turning the heat up, because it can get a little cold due to the ice of the Chicago Blackhawks sitting below the basketball court.