Bucks, Bulls fire head coaches
Less than 24 hours after failing to make the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks fired head coach Larry Krystkowiak and the Chicago Bulls dismissed interim coach Jim Boylan on Thursday. ( dpa )
"Larry and I met this morning, and came to the decision that he would not return," said new Bucks general manager John Hammond in his first move to clean house.
Krystkowiak was hired before the start of the season, but the former Milwaukee player was given his walking papers after guiding the injury-depleted Bucks to a disappointing 26-56 record.
"Disappointment is one of the emotions that I am feeling," he said. "It's just kind of a culmination of a bunch of stuff. And I am an emotional guy."
Bucks top scorer Michael Redd offered his take saying, "It's just a situation that didn't work out. I'm sure he tried his best, no doubt about it. We tried our best. It just didn't work out."
Meanwhile, the Bulls experiment to give assistant coach Boylan the reins proved to be a bust as well, following an underachieving 33-49 season and failing to make the post-season for the first time in the last four years.
"Letting a coach go is never easy," Bulls vice president Jim Paxton said.
"I think during the time he coached this year, Jim showed he is very capable in that role and I hope he gets that opportunity again in the future. He certainly has the tools to succeed at this level."
There was so much hope for the young Bulls after winning 49 games in 2006-07 season and advancing to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs under coach Scott Skiles.
However they seemed to be playing in a funk and Skiles was fired on Christmas Eve after starting the season at 9-16.
Boylan was promoted, but he couldn't convince stars Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Ben Wallace, Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas and Chris Duhon to step up their games every night.
"I was brought in here in the middle of the season," Boylan said. "It's kind of a tough situation."
Though Boylan couldn't turn the Bulls around and finished his short tenure with a 24-32 mark, the long-time assistant was grateful for the opportunity to get his first NBA head-coaching experience.
"It was full of all kinds of experiences - some good, some not so good," he said. "Sitting in the head coach's seat was comfortable and enjoyable. I loved the challenge."
Paxton doesn't have any candidates in mind to fill the vacancy, though former Indiana and Detroit coach Rick Carlisle's name along with Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau have been mentioned.
"I want to be able to explore candidates and listen to different philosophies on how to use our personnel," he said.