After a slow start, the Chicago Bulls have played impressive basketball as of late. The team is 9-11 and has won three of its last four games, all against top-tier opponents in the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Utah Jazz.
What wasn’t known until recently is that the Bulls actually extended their head coach, Billy Donovan, before this season even started. Donovan was under contract for two more years heading into the 2022-23 campaign but is now locked in for several more. The Athletic’s Shams Charania was the first to report the news on Tuesday afternoon:
“Sources: The Chicago Bulls signed head coach Billy Donovan to a contract extension after last season’s playoff run snapping a four-year postseason drought, adding years to his original four-year deal.”
Donovan, 57, began his coaching career in the collegiate ranks as an assistant with the University of Kentucky back in 1989. However, his defining years as a college coach came when, as a head coach, he led the University of Florida Gators to back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007.
After lots of success coaching college basketball, Donovan entered the NBA’s head coaching ranks in 2015 when he agreed to coach the Oklahoma City Thunder, then led by the two-headed snake of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It’s with the Thunder that Donovan got the closest to an NBA title, as the Thunder were one win away from an NBA Finals appearance back in 2016.
With Donovan having accomplished so much at both the collegiate and professional levels, the Bulls made the right decision by extending him.