Saturday , Nov , 24 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Scott Skiles’ Old Temperament Not To Blame For Chicago Bulls’ Poor Start

Skiles has always been tough and crazy. As a player with the Orlando Magic, the tiny point guard traded punches with teammate Shaquille O’Neal in practice. Scrapping The Diesel is Cypress Hill loco. Years later, Skiles quit as coach of the Phoenix Suns because players tuned out his edgy approach. That was then. This is now …

The Chicago Sun Tribune reports on problems with Scott Skiles’ hardnosed style:

The Bulls have the look of a team that is mentally beaten into the sweaty hardwood, and if it’s not fair to pin their underachievement entirely on Scott Skiles, it’s a legitimate conversation point. Didn’t he arrive in 2003 with a reputation that his demands, practices and grueling ways eventually wear thin on players? Seems "eventually" may be upon us.

My Quick Take: Skiles has always been tough and crazy. As a player with the Orlando Magic, the tiny point guard traded punches with teammate Shaquille O’Neal in practice.

Scrapping The Diesel is Cypress Hill loco. Years later, Skiles quit as coach of the Phoenix Suns because players tuned out his edgy approach.

That was then. This is now.

Skiles’ old school, Bobby Knight act is over. A few days ago, the fugasi taskmaster apologized for publicly calling-out forward Tyrus Thomas to reporters. He has supported his players through the abyss of losing and even relaxed his no headband policy for center Ben Wallace.

Am I missing something? Don’t coaches have the right to criticize, ride, and embarrass underachieving and underperforming players?

So Skiles has mellowed. And it’s not fair to blame his old temperament for the Bulls’ troubles.

Why does his squad look so distracted and drained? Well, they’re losing, reports have half the team heading west for Kobe Bryant, and their two young stars probably wish they accepted those 50 million dollar contract extensions.

Of course, Skiles, as sideline boss, deserves some blame. The Bulls can’t score. But he never tried Deng at two-guard, which would have created a size mismatch on offense. Gordon, a former sixth man of the year, could have easily returned to the bench.

Skiles has also done a poor job using his reserves. Players are uncomfortable with his constant tinkering.

Skiles is on the verge of being let-go. This is fair. Today, the Bulls hit rock bottom by losing to the lowly Knicks. But fire him for the right reasons.

Should the Chicago Bulls get rid of Skiles? Get at us in the comment box with your thoughts.

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