Who Will Coach Windy City Bulls?

Mar 25, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Steve Prohm reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half in a semifinal game in the Midwest regional of the NCAA Tournament at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Steve Prohm reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half in a semifinal game in the Midwest regional of the NCAA Tournament at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

Competitive professional basketball is coming back very soon. The NBA will break camp in about one month and shortly after that there will be games. That means the D-League will also be getting underway and Windy City will need a roster and a coaching staff.

While the big league Bulls are basically set to go with a filled out roster under second-year coach Fred Hoiberg, almost nothing has been set in stone for their counterparts. Currently, Windy City boasts a fully-staffed front office, but not a word has been said about their coaching staff or roster.

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There are a lot of options for Windy City, the Bulls could go in any number of directions with their staff. A look at the lineup of coaches for the 2015-16 D-League season shows all sorts of experience ranging from international teams to Chinese teams to the NBA and all kinds of pedigree from a former NBA player and son of a well-regarding coach to guys that served every role imaginable for teams in the league.

Here at Pippen Ain’t Easy, we (just me, really) took it upon ourselves to go over several options for the Bulls coaching staff vacancies. Mostly, it would just be a good start to figure out the head coach. So, here’s a little rundown of candidates that I carefully crafted.

Steve Prohm

Prohm is currently wowing Cyclone nation at Iowa State. Last season, he led the team to the Sweet 16 and a record of 23-12 in his first year coaching the Cyclones in 2015-16. He’s got a long history of coaching, having been in charge at several other schools before taking over at Iowa State. He mostly made his name during his stint with Murray State.

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While there, he enjoyed one of the longest win streaks in the country while securing an NIT invite during the 2014-15 season. He was twice named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year. The point here is that he has some serious coaching pedigree, spanning nearly two decades.

The big drawback is that Prohm has zero experience at the professional level. Generally, coaches at the collegiate level who are well-established only take the leap when it means they are going to land in the NBA. The crowds that pack Hilton Coliseum dwarf both the size and energy of the crowds that spackle your average D-League showdown. Plus, you’re likely to make much less money and see much less national media coverage if you toil away in the D-League. They don’t say that it is a young man’s game, but they probably should.

Daniyal Robinson

Robinson is currently an assistant coach at Iowa State. It is his second stint with the team. He was also an assistant under Greg McDermott. Yes, McDermott. You already see where this is going. There’s more. Robinson is an Illinois native, which was already a major factor for many of the players that the Bulls elected to bring to the Las Vegas Summer League.

There’s a good chance that several players from that summer squad find an invite to camp with Windy City. It only seems natural that they would also try to lure an Illinois native to coach. It doesn’t stop there. Robinson played college ball for Arkansas-Little Rock. Can you think of any Bulls greats that may have played college ball in Arkansas? Maybe Scottie Pippen, the very man, myth and legend whose name adorns this site.

Robinson has also coached Illinois State, so he has experience leading a team from coach’s seat. In case you weren’t aware, Illinois State is also in Illinois. The more I talk about this option, the more I’m convincing myself that this is the right fit. He is also the right age to make the jump. At age 40, Robinson is in the prime of his coaching career arc. If he wants to ever have a shot at making an NBA bench, this is going to be his best shot at breaking into the world of professional basketball in a head coach capacity.

Randy Brown

Brown might be the most serious candidate, if you put aside all illuminati connections for Robinson. There is a pretty convincing case for Brown. He has been part of the Bulls organization at the NBA level for many years serving first as director of player development, then moving to a couple of assistant roles to the general manager.

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In his most recent position, he served as assistant coach to Fred Hoiberg. His experience in the Bulls organization as an assistant coach and working in player development make him the kind of asset the Bulls would love to send to Windy City.

The Bulls also have an affinity for ex-players. Brown was a backup guard in Chicago between 1995-2000. He was there for the second three-peat behind Michael Jordan, Pippen and Steve Kerr. Pippen is already linked to the organization and appears to have no interest in coaching. Jordan has moved on and currently owns an NBA franchise. Kerr has been NBA Coach of the Year, leading the Golden State Warriors to eclipse the best regular season in NBA history. That record, of course, belonged to the 1996 Bulls – Jordan, Pippen, Kerr and Brown were all on that squad.

Whether right or wrong, the front office in Chicago probably thinks they have some lingering magic from their heyday. Brown is probably the only available link if they won’t to prolong the magic. Unless they want to bring in Dennis Rodman. Nope, strike that.

Given these options, Brown seems like a great candidate. However, you have to wonder if he would be interested in leaving the sidelines of the NBA approaching age 50 with no guarantee that there is a return trip in store. Prohm is definitely not leaving Iowa State for Hoffman Estates. The intriguing candidate here is Robinson. All of his ties point to Gar Forman being enamored with him, if not completely infatuated.

This is a light-hearted exercise, but the premise of Forman going back to the Iowa State well is a very real thing. That could be good or bad, depending on how you think that’s been working for him so far. I’d say that if Forman wants to continue making particularly biased decisions, he might as well just be removed from his spot and they can hire me to coach. Sure, I know nothing about coaching and would be awful, but who doesn’t want to see a tattooed, ex-college wrestler prowling the sidelines screaming at Rajon Rondo, while on a rehab assignment with Windy City, to “cut that meat!