Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nocioni Removed From Bench After "Expletive-filled" Exchange

Could the season get any worse for the Bulls? Heading into the year, Chicago expected to be in contention for the Eastern Conference title. Instead, the Bulls are battling for eighth place and with each other.

Saturday night's game against the Pacers may sum up Chicago's season. For three quarters, the Bulls had a large lead on Chicago. Then, in the fourth quarter, they are outscored 35-17. In the process, another Bull found himself in a heated "expletive-filled" exchange with coach Jim Boylan. This time, it was forward Andres Nocioni. Not too surprisingly, several other Bulls have had problems this year and with Boylan.

Nocioni was pulled by Boylan after a brief three-minute stretch. At that point, with the Bulls playing well, Nocioni cursed at Boylan and kicked a towel. Boylan then expelled Nocioni from the bench and sent him to the locker room. There, the two engaged in a halftime shouting match.

Nocioni said after another the collapse and loss, "I want to extend my apology to my coach.I think I did a really bad thing today, terrible. My apology to the organization, to [general manager] John Paxson, to my teammates and to everybody because my reaction was pretty bad. Right now I'm calm and I was really frustrated. My reaction was really bad. All right? Thank you, guys."

When asked about the incident after the game, Boylan answered repeatedly, "That's a matter that will be handled internally."

Just four days ago, ran a fluff piece about Boylan. Here is an almost ironic excerpt:
“He has [Ben Gordon] and the other guys more relaxed than before. Guys are enjoying themselves.”

See a pattern here? What distinguishes Boylan isn’t his basketball know-how. It isn’t necessarily his passion for the game. It’s the personal connection he makes with his players. It’s the compassion Boylan has for “his guys.”
Does such a coach alienate one of his most hard-working, team-oriented players? Nocioni embodied the team John Paxson created. Players hated playing Nocioni like teams dreaded playing the Bulls. Nocioni played hard, scrappy defense. On the offensive end, he could shoot the ball and drive well.

He provided energy, making up for the occasional mental miscue. Now, with Nocioni averaging under twelve minutes his last five games, the energy is gone. How is that for coaching know-how?

I do see a pattern. The team started losing. Players began questioning and confronting their coaches. Then, the players stopped giving full effort. The losing continued.

What a season!


About the Undrafted Free Agent

Ron Crimson was the only player on the high school roster to not get in a game. He couldn't argue with the decision, because he sucked. Needless to say, yet stated anyway, when he entered the NBA draft following his sophomore season in college, he went undrafted. Now, Ron Crimson is the Undrafted Free Agent.

Contact the Undrafted Free Agent

Interested in informing the Undrafted Free Agent of his mistakes, advertisement opportunities, or a scoop on the latest sports scandal? (You can guess which is more likely.) Well, email him at undraftedfreeagent [at]

Look at This!

There's nothing here; I just needed to fill some space. Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! I also needed to balance it out a bit.

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