The Chicago Bulls are in the second half of their season and battling for seeding in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. It’s no secret that the team has bounced back thanks to the coaching of Billy Donovan and key additions like DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, and Lonzo Ball.
The group has become a tight-knit one thanks to Donovan as he appears to have found the formula for making this work. And the players’ appreciation of him is showing.
Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine recently went on air with WGN Radio’s Kevin Powell and in the interview, he expressed very high praise for his head coach, Donovan.
“Billy’s the best coach in the world for me. I’ve got along with him more than any other coach I’ve had in my career, and I’ve had a good amount of them,” LaVine laughed.
Donovan is often described as a ‘player’s coach. It’s clear how much LaVine appreciates this about him. Donovan has a long resume full of success that dates back to his time coaching at the University of Florida. After winning two national championships and even having the university’s court named after him, Donovan made a career change towards coaching in the NBA. Donovan coached the Oklahoma City Thunder for five years before coming to the Bulls in 2020.
LaVine and Donovan are now in their third season together. This season has been their most successful to date. LaVine expands on his relationship with Coach Donovan. Bleacher Nation quoted him as saying the following.
“I talk and text with him all the time, and the main thing about him is he cares about you more as a person than a basketball player,” LaVine said. “He’ll come to you and ask you about your family, how’s your day going. He worries more about how you’re doing as a person and cares about that more than basketball. And that’s what I really appreciate because – to be honest – not everyone is like that in the world of sports. So it’s a breath of fresh air when you can have a friend as a coach. Obviously, he’s still going to go out there and coach and say what he has to say, but you have a guy that has your back at the end of the day.”
LaVine is due to be a free agent after this season. Although many signs are pointing towards him returning to the Bulls, it’s always unclear what offseason moves are in the cards. Building this relationship and success with Coach Donovan can prove to be a major part of what keeps Zach in Chicago.
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