Scott Skiles isn’t your typical NBA coach. That is to say, he doesn’t understand some of the nuances involved in the delicate art and science of leading young, obscenely rich men into battle. To be blunt, when God handed out people skills, let’s just say Scott Skiles wasn’t on the receiving end.
Before last night’s drubbing in Denver, an enterprising reporter asked the fiery Bulls coach why Tyrus Thomas’s minutes had been trimmed down recently, and Skiles went on a tirade against the young forward. From the Chicago Sun Times:
”We ask [Thomas] to sprint the floor,” Skiles said. ”To my knowledge, in his career, he hasn’t done it one time — not one time. You guys, sit and watch the game tonight. If he gets in there, is he jogging or is he sprinting the floor?”
Right or wrong, going after one of your guys in the press is usually a recipe for disaster in the NBA. It bad for everyone involved; the players are humiliated, and the locker room atmosphere can quickly turn acidic.
With the Bulls struggling mightily on the court, it might be time for Skiles to change his approach if he wants to maintain his players’ respect, and ultimately, his job.