The Chicago Bulls reportedly accepted an offer from point guard Zach LaVine to pay fines head coach Jim Boylen received for his ejection during Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center.
On Saturday, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com reported LaVine reached out to the Bulls front office after Boylen and Clippers head coach Doc Rivers were ejected following a dispute about screens. Chicago's coach will be fined $7,000—$5,000 for two technical fouls and $2,000 for the ejection.
"What Jim did, I personally respect that a lot," LaVine said after the game. "He really cares about us and he's going to fight for us. That shows his true character the way he feels about us."
The Bulls ultimately decided to accept the guard's offer, per Andrews.
Boylen was promoted to head coach Dec. 3 following the firing of Fred Hoiberg.
Less than a week later, LaVine and Boylen held a face-to-face meeting after Bulls players debated boycotting a practice over frustrations about the new coach's tactics, according to Andrews and Ramona Shelburne.
"You just want to be real with people," LaVine told ESPN. "There shouldn't be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them. This is a business, this isn't a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice."
The Bulls, who were 5-19 when Hoiberg was dismissed, have not played much better since the coaching change. They are currently 19-51, the fourth-worst record in the NBA, and are riding a four-game losing streak after a 128-121 loss to the Clippers.
Chicago maintained flexibility when it reworked Boylen's contract in early January should the team opt to conduct a coaching search in the offseason, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:
Doc Rivers and Jim Boylen got ejected... at the same time pic.twitter.com/xxwUR3QWvM— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 16, 2019
While it's unclear whether the Bulls will decide to go in that direction, it appears the veteran coach has started to earn LaVine's respect after a rocky start to his tenure.