Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen received a two-technical ejection for arguing with Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers in Friday’s matchup between the two teams.
The next day, Zach LaVine, the star of the team, contacted Bulls executive vice president John Paxson and offered to pay the head coach’s $7,000 fine, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews. While the Bulls would have allowed the guard to pay the fine, the league prohibits anyone but the offender to pay the expenses.
While LaVine very well might’ve paid Boylen’s ejection fines had he been allowed by the NBA, the 53-year-old coach wouldn’t have accepted the offer regardless. Boylen publicly stated his appreciation for Lavine’s ‘unbelievable gesture’, but declined because he preaches accountability to his players, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
“It’s an unbelievable gesture by Zach,” Boylen said Sunday. “It just shows what kind of kid he is and what kind of leader he’s becoming. It was a really cool thing for me personally with the way our relationship has grown. The care factor he has and the trust we have in each other made it real emotional for me. That being said, I’ve been preaching since day one that we have to take accountability for our actions, we have to own our mistakes and we have to move on. So I appreciate it, but I’ll pay my own fine. Those are my actions and I need to be accountable for them.”
Jim Boylen took over for former head coach Fred Hoiberg in December, and his old-school style of coaching was much to the skepticism of players and fans alike at the beginning of his tenure. However, LaVine’s relationship with the coach has strengthened over the past few months, and this gesture speaks volumes as to just how much it truly has.