Bulls Address Situation with Zach LaVine and PR Staffer Internally
By Jamal Collier, ESPN
CHICAGO – Following Saturday’s game, where Zach LaVine brushed off a team public relations member after declining a postgame interview, Bulls coach Billy Donovan confirmed on Monday that the situation has been resolved internally.
Donovan, however, chose not to provide further details regarding the incident.
After the Bulls’ 102-97 victory over the Miami Heat, which ended their three-game losing streak, LaVine was caught on camera walking off the court while the rest of the team celebrated. As he made his way towards the locker room, a team official approached him, but LaVine shook his head and brushed her off.
LaVine later referred to the incident as a “miscommunication” between the two parties involved.
“One thing I’ll say about it, it’s been handled internally, it’s been discussed internally,” stated Donovan before Monday’s game against the Heat, which the Bulls lost 118-100. “I don’t want to disclose the specifics of those conversations, but it has been addressed. My hope is that everyone supports each other in performing their respective roles.”
Last week, LaVine expressed his frustration with the team’s slow start to the season and evaded questions about his desire to be traded. In his first 14 games, LaVine has struggled, averaging 21.9 points on 43% shooting, with a 34% success rate from beyond the arc.
Despite this, Donovan stated that he has not observed any change in LaVine’s effort over the past week that would cause him to question the player’s commitment to the team.
“When I entered the locker room [on Saturday night], I didn’t notice anything different about his demeanor,” said Donovan, who admitted to not witnessing the incident between LaVine and the PR staffer in real-time. “He wasn’t upset, pouting, or disengaged – he appeared to be his usual self.”