We were extremely disappointed that several players chose to speak out after our last game. You know, every team has issues. And it’s our strong belief that when you have issues or critical comments, that you keep those issues or critical comments in-house, that it’s not shared through you guys, that it’s shared through social media. It’s not how want to operate. It is totally unacceptable, and we made it very clear to the players that were involved that it’s unacceptable.
Butler, via Sean Highkin of The Athletic:
Wade and Rondo also made clear they didn’t regret making their points. All three said open communication was healthy, not Butler and Wade didn’t appear to mind Rondo’s public response to them.
Butler, via Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:
Everyone has the opportunity to express themselves. That’s the way, just like I chose to express myself, that’s the way that he chose to express himself.
I have no ill-intentions or no hard feelings for anyone. I want everyone to succeed in this locker room.
Butler, Wade and Mirotic have been through enough to compartmentalize these issues. Public statements by teammates won’t discourage them. But they also ought to know this stuff can affect younger players differently.
Though Butler’s stardom and Wade’s résumé/sustained production have earned them the right to lead, this attempt was clumsy. Rondo, by griping about public criticism publicly, was far more hypocritical, and his lower standing on the team provides less margin for error.
It sounds as if all three received a fine:
A shared experience that moves them forward together? Perhaps, though Rondo still could wind up released if not traded. That’s not a total solution, though.
The Bulls must still address their greater problems – a somewhat ill-fitting roster, a passive coach and inconsistent player effort. As for how to judge this saga, Butler put it best: