Billy Donovan reacts to agreeing to coach Bulls
After the Bulls made his hiring official, the former Florida Gator tactician released a statement on joining the organization.
“I want to thank Jerry (Reinsdorf), Michael (Reinsdorf), Arturas (Karnisovas) and Marc (Eversley) for the opportunity to coach the Chicago Bulls,” Billy Donovan said, via the team’s website.
“I also want to thank them for the time and effort they put into this hiring process. I’m excited to partner with Arturas as we work together on behalf of this historic franchise.”
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Bulls executive VP of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley believed Billy Donovan was the best coach available in the marketplace.
Karnisovas aggressively pursued Donovan after the 55-year-old decided not to return to the Oklahoma City Thunder following their first-round exit at Walt Disney World.
The Bulls haven’t had a winning record or made the playoffs since the 2016-17 season, which was the final year All-Star small forward and current Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler was on the team. The best player in Chicago right now is shooting guard Zach LaVine. He averaged 25.5 points per game for the Bulls in 2019-20 before games were suspended in March due to COVID-19.
Since the Bulls’ roster is made up of young guys who have never made an All-Star team, odds are Donovan will connect with them well since he’s good at player development and establishing strong relationships.