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Billy Donovan hired as next Chicago Bulls head coach

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The Chicago Bulls announced the signing of Billy Donovan on Tuesday to become the next Bulls’ head coach.


The Bulls have signed their first head coach with previous NBA head coaching experience in 17 years to replace Jim Boylen, who was fired after the Bulls finished 22-43 and were one of the eight teams that didn’t qualify for the NBA’s restart in the Orlando bubble.

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In former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach, Donovan, the Bulls are getting an experienced NBA coach with a track record of success, a player relationship-building mindset and a good work ethic.

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Welcome our new head coach, Billy Donovan!

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For nearly 20 years before joining the Thunder, he built the University of Florida into a top contender, accumulating 467 wins, a .715 winning percentage and two national titles across 19 seasons. His .608 NBA winning percentage is better than all but two coaches in Bulls franchise history, Phil Jackson (.738) and Tom Thibodeau (.647). He joins the Bulls a year after the 10th-worst campaign in franchise history by winning percentage.

The Bulls will be looking to improve their results from last season after the signing of Donovan.

His winning percentage ranks 16th (min. 100 games) in NBA history and trails only Nick Nurse (.721), Steve Kerr (.709) and Gregg Popovich (.675) among active coaches.

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Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley believed Donovan was the best coach available and his track record in Oklahoma City – including five straight playoff appearances in the Western Conference, made him the perfect candidate for the job.

“We are very pleased to welcome Billy and his family to the Chicago Bulls,” “The success that he has sustained over the course of his coaching career puts him on a different level. We feel his ability to help his players reach their potential, both individually and collectively, will mesh well with our roster. Whether as a player or as a coach, he has won everywhere his career has taken him, and we hope that will continue here in Chicago”, Karnisovas said.

On the court, the Bulls are led by Zach LaVine, who averaged 25.5 points this season.

“I want to thank Jerry, Michael, Arturas and Marc for the opportunity to coach the Chicago Bulls. I also want to thank them for the time and effort they put into this hiring process. I’m excited to partner with Arturas as we work together on behalf of this historic franchise.” 

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Donovan becomes the club’s third coach in the last seven seasons. He is also one of only four active first-time head coaches in the league (along with Rick Carlisle, Kerr and Erik Spoelstra) to lead their teams to the playoffs in each of their first five seasons as a head coach.


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