Dwyane Wade came to Chicago in part because he felt wanted — a sense he didn’t fully get from Pat Riley and Miami anymore. It wasn’t just money, it was how he was recruited. Bulls’ team leader Jimmy Butler called Wade and asked him to be a Bull.
But what did Butler say to Wade, exactly?
Butler laid it out for Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com after Butler and his Team USA teammates beat Venezuela 80-45 in an exhibition game Friday night in Chicago.
“Just what we can do if we were to play basketball together. I said look man, I’m okay with whatever role you want me to play,” said Butler to CSNChicago.com in an exclusive interview after Team USA beat Venezuela 80-45 Friday at the United Center, with Wade sitting next to Team USA’s bench. “But we can win games if you’re here with us. So that’s basically how it went.
“I was telling him, of all the things that have been said, I’m here to win. I don’t care what role I’m supposed to play, whose team it is, you come here, we’ll win games.”
Butler went on to say he wanted Wade and Rajon Rondo on the team because they have won titles. They know what it takes. He wants them to show him — and yes, Butler knows he can be bull-headed about things at times.
“I agree, I can (be). Fine. It only makes me better,” Butler said. “If you’re on my tail all the time it only makes me better. I want that. I like that. If I’m (messing) around, you tell me, you let me know, you’re better than that. You’re right. I’m gonna respond in a positive manner and I’m gonna do what I’m supposed to be doing.”
That “they know how to win” thing sounds great on paper, but it doesn’t answer the big questions about the Bulls heading into next season: With Butler, Wade, and Rondo, do they have enough shooting to space the floor and keep teams from just packing the paint defensively? Can this roster get enough stops? And, is Fred Hoiberg up to the task of coaching three strong-willed players and getting them in line?
But I’ll say this, the Bulls got better and a lot more interesting this summer.