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- Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen had a time clock made for his players so they can punch in and out of work.
- The clock is at the Bulls practice facility near the weight room, and each player has a time card with their name and the Bulls logo.
- Boylen has developed a reputation as a tough, old-school coach and nearly lost the team last season when players threatened to boycott a practice.
- Players have since grown to like Boylen and have defended his reputation.
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Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen has found an old-school, literal way to track his players’ work.
According to The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry, Boylen had a custom time clock made for the Bulls so players can punch in and out of work. The clock sits at the Bulls practice facility, near the weight room, is painted red and white and embroidered with “Chicago Bulls.” Each player has a red-and-white time card with their name and the Bulls logo.
“So when guys come through the doors, they punch in now,” Boylen told Mayberry. “Punching in to work.”
According to Mayberry, Boylen worked at a Cadillac factory from the time he was 18 to 21 and had fond memories of punching in and out and working hard. He wanted to instill those lessons in the Bulls.
A photo of the time clock can be seen in Mayberry’s story.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine described Boylen as doing “little quirky things” to improve the atmosphere around the Bulls. Mayberry said Bulls have raved about a new and improved atmosphere all year.
It’s unclear how Bulls players feel about the time clock, specifically. NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady mocked the idea on ESPN’s “The Jump.”
“This is wack, man,” McGrady said.
“There’s no way I’m coming in, making millions of dollars, and you’re about to have me punch a clock to play basketball? No. Hell no. I’m not doing that, especially if I’m a veteran player. You might wanna keep tabs on these young players when they’re coming in. But if I’m a vet? Get the hell out of here, I ain’t punching no clock.”
Boylen got off to a rough start on the job last December when he took over as head coach for Fred Hoiberg. Boylen ran a grueling, three-hour practice on a Monday, the Bulls played a game Tuesday, had two more practices on Wednesday and Thursday, then had a back-to-back which was bookended by a 56-point loss to the Boston Celtics. The practices reportedly included sprints and push-ups. The Bulls players attempted to boycott a Sunday practice and even complained to the Players Association about Boylen’s methods. The situation was eventually resolved.
LaVine defended the perception of Boylen to Mayberry.
“Jim is somebody who’s got a little bit of a misinterpretation about him because he might be a hard coach who wants to practice a lot,” LaVine said. “But I can genuinely say he cares for his players. He cares for you individually. He cares about the team’s success. I don’t think Jim’s taken a day off in about four weeks.”
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