When Jimmy Butler said Fred Hoiberg didn’t coach the Bulls hard enough, the reaction of many:
How badly does Jimmy Butler miss Tom Thibodeau?
At least three Chicago starters reportedly ripped Thibodeau during exit interviews before the Bulls fired him. Butler might have been one of them.
Nick Friedell of ESPN on the Posting Up podcast with Tim Bontemps:
I can’t stress this enough. In talking to players, in talking to people within the organization…
The relationship was broken. It was gone, and I’ve been told repeatedly – even recently, Tim – that Jimmy was one of those guys who was like, “Hey, you know what? I’m done with this I’m done with this.”
And I think they have a nice relationship, Tom and Jimmy, now after some time has passed.
Why this is important: If he has issues with Hoiberg, Butler can remind himself – or the Bulls can remind him – he was ready to move on from Thibodeau. Using someone’s own statements is a powerful way to convince him of something.
The grass might not be greener on the other side, but it also might not have been as green on the first side as Butler remembers it. Thibodeau would have coached the Bulls better in some ways than Hoiberg has so far, but playing for Thibodeau was no treat. His intense personality rubbed some the wrong way, especially over time. Butler can romanticize how hard Thibodeau coached the team, but the star guard should also remember why he was ready to move on.
Clearly, change has not gone as smoothly as the Bulls hoped. Their offense is lagging, and Butler’s transition to team leader has been far from smooth.
Butler might not have chosen Hoiberg, but Chicago needs Butler to consider why he was ready to move on from Thibodeau. That’ll only work toward Butler giving Hoiberg, a first-year NBA coach, the patience he needs.