Give Coby White credit for consistency.
As the outcry for him to start last season intensified, including strong words from analyst Stacey King on the NBC Sports Chicago game telecasts, White always publicly backed Jim Boylen’s decision to bring him along slowly and make him more accountable.
So it shouldn’t surprise that White, who finally started the last game before COVID-19 halted the NBA in March, continued to back Boylen. Speaking on a Zoom video conference call with reporters Wednesday morning after earning All-Rookie second-team honors this week, White said he was “kind of surprised” by Boylen’s firing.
“I really didn’t see it coming. Like I said, Jim, I give him all the credit. He was a great coach when he was here,” White said. “We’re excited to see change. But taking nothing away from him, this season, he helped me out a lot and I can’t thank him enough for that, especially on and off the court.”
During his post-All-Star break surge, White specifically credited Boylen for pushing him to improve on the defensive side of the ball through his rookie year.
The Bulls, including White, have gathered for a three-week voluntary offseason program that includes daily COVID-19 testing and group workouts starting next week. But the speedy guard said talk hasn’t much shifted to who Boylen’s replacement might be.
After an initial round of interviews, Artūras Karnišovas’ coaching search is expected to move to the finalists stage shortly. There is growing momentum for Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr., with whom Karnišovas worked with for five seasons in Denver.
“We haven’t talked about the new coach because it’s so spread out right now. They haven’t really narrowed it down to the people that,” White said. “Some of us are just getting back into town. And we still have to stay six feet away from each other. We still can’t really converse. So during the bubble, I’m pretty sure that’ll be something that’ll be talked about.”