Jimmy Butler had a pointed message for Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg the other day: “We probably have to be coached a lot harder at times. I know Fred is a laidback guy and I respect him for that, but when guys aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, you gotta get on guys, myself included.”
Where do Butler and Hoiberg go from there?
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Anyone with knowledge of Butler and Hoiberg sitting down also has incentive to portray it as a “good talk” – whether it was or wasn’t.
But I believe this meeting went well, because it’s far too early in Butler’s and Hoiberg’s relationship for them to be unable to talk amicably. I don’t think Butler wants to make waves as much as he wants to make Bulls better. They’re 15-10 with the point difference typical of a 13-12 team.
In some ways, this is a typical tale of a college coach jumping to the NBA. Hoiberg can’t hand-pick a roster full of like-minded players like he could at Iowa State. The typical roles are just reversed. The college coach is easy-going, and the NBA player is intensely competitive.
Can Hoiberg adjust? It’s his responsibility, because NBA coaches are much more expendable than players – especially stars like Butler. Perhaps Hoiberg can, and he deserves a chance to figure it out. But there’s plenty of precedent working against him.
If you’re a Comcast subscriber in Chicago, you can stream tonight’s Bulls-Nets game here.