Boylen says Bulls worked hard to pry assistant Fleming from Nets

Updated 11/16/2019 10:13 PM

During the summer, the Bulls pried Chris Fleming away from Brooklyn's coaching staff to be Jim Boylen's lead assistant. Boylen has said a few times the Bulls had to work really hard to make that happen, but it's not an uncommon transaction in the NBA.

"That's a dilemma we all face as head coaches, we lose people that were contributors and valuable," said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, a college teammate of Fleming at Richmond. "I think Chris got a great opportunity here in a great city with a great program. We also lost other staff members. I know he's in a good place here."


Asked about Fleming's strengths, Atkinson mentioned the long run as a head coach in Germany as a positive.

"We're so collaborative and everybody pushes and he was a part of that collaboration," Atkinson said. "Obviously I value greatly his international experience. I think hearing that different voice with different ideas, he definitely gave us that. And then just his work ethic. He was a big part of what we did."

The Nets made the playoffs last season after three straight years of 20-something win totals.

Boylen keeps it fun:

Asked about adding former Brooklyn assistant Chris Fleming to the coaching staff, Jim Boylen had an interesting take on the job of an NBA assistant coach.

"I think the No. 1 thing for a first assistant is you have to be fun to be around," Boylen said. "I know that sounds crazy, but I always prided myself as an assistant that I was always in a good place with my head coach as far as supporting him and being positive and keeping it light when it needs to be light and obviously making a tough point when you have to make a tough point.

"He (Fleming) is a very calm and collected basketball guy. He's also a family guy, which I am too. So I think we're kind of kindred spirits there. He's kind of moved from team to team because he's moved up and he's had good opportunities. I experienced that too. I also think he values the things I value -- being direct, being honest, helping guys become what they can become. I'm really thankful for him."

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Boylen made a similar jump from the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff to become Fred Hoiberg's lead assistant with the Bulls.

No return set for Porter:

Otto Porter missed his fourth game Saturday with a left foot sprain. Before the contest, Bulls coach Jim Boylen tried to explain the mix of uncertainty with how long he'll be out with the belief it's not a long-term injury.

"Otto's is a slow, meticulous process," Boylen said. "As symptoms subside, he gets better and some days those symptoms are less and some days they're the same as they were the day before. I don't think it's months, I think it's weeks. He's working at it, he's trying. This is a tough one, it's not a definitive thing.

"From what I've been told, that part of your foot gets inflamed and it just takes time to settle down. He's doing everything he can to stay in shape. He's in the hydroworks, he's on the bike. I see him sweating all over the building, so he's trying."

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