Charles Barkley and many others were stunned when the Chicago Bulls pulled off one of the biggest coups of the 2020 calendar year in the NBA. That came when they announced they’d reached an agreement with Billy Donovan to become their next head coach. Donovan was fresh off a successful run with the Oklahoma City Thunder in which he made the playoffs all five of his seasons there.
On top of that, he was a legend in the college ranks too with back-to-back championships running the Florida Gators in 2006 and 2007. He is by far the most experienced head coach the Bulls have ever hired and the first of his type they’ve hired since Scott Skiles in 2003. For many years they’ve been known for always hiring first-time head coaches.
Barkley though didn’t applaud the Bulls for the move. Instead, his reaction was far different. Indignation. Not at the team but at the coach himself. He couldn’t believe Donovan would be that stupid and made those feelings known on NBA On TNT.
“Only two jobs worse than that (the Bulls head coaching job): the captain of the Titanic and my fitness coach,” Barkley said.
“They ain’t got no good players… He could have waited for a better job.”
Charles Barkley is a longtime critic of the Bulls organization
The Hall of Fame forward is never shy about sharing his opinions. When it comes to the Bulls, it doesn’t get much lower. He has a low opinion of owner Jerry Reinsdorf, believing he was the one responsible for breaking up the dynasty team in the 1990s instead of Jerry Krause. He thinks it’s become an organization where head coaches go to die and doesn’t see the same potential in the team’s young core of players as others do.
Zach Lavine isn’t anywhere close to an All-Star player. Lauri Markkanen is a huge disappointment. Throw in the fact that Jim Boylen, the Bulls’ former head coach is a good friend of his? This reaction could hardly be called surprising.
Charles Barkley on the state of the Chicago Bulls, including Zach LaVine not getting an All-Star appearance: “He didn’t deserve it.” Why not? Barkley: “He didn’t deserve it.” pic.twitter.com/8WJYduRjzL
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 13, 2020
The bottom line is Donovan bought into what the Bulls were selling. They feel with his help this team is capable of a swift turnaround. Arturas Karnisovas could add more help to the mix with the #4 pick in the draft this October. It’s enough to breed serious optimism that this team is ready to turn a corner.