The Chicago Bulls were a more entertaining soap opera than basketball team last season. Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade were frustrated with some of the desire of the younger players on the team, then Rajon Rondo came to those players’ defense and called out the team leaders. Soon there were Rondo trade rumors, which never materialized. At this point Rondo was allowed to walk, Butler was traded, and it’s a matter of time before Wade is bought out.
There have been all sorts rumors and talk this summer as the Bulls changed directions toward a rebuild. One was that Butler and Wade had some kind of beef (over a game of spades), which Butler shot down when speaking to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
“The only beef he and I could possibly have is who is a better dresser right now,” Butler said. “For that [report] to be floating out there is crazy. As many dinners as me and him have had out here [in California], the trips we’ve taken this summer, I don’t think people that argue would be around each other as much as I like being around D-Wade.
“I just continue to pick his brain and try and get to the level that he is on the basketball court — what he’s done, the way that he’s won. I love that guy like a brother, and he’s done so much for me. Let people talk, but no one knows what they are talking about unless it’s coming from me or D-Wade.”
Butler also came to the defense of Wade and the reports (accurate, I’ve heard) that the younger players on that team “can’t stand” Wade.
“Hell, probably some of them can’t stand or don’t like me,” Butler told the Sun-Times in a phone interview Thursday. “That’s fine. I’m still waking up fortunate and blessed every day, just like Dwyane is. He still has a fabulous family and a lot more important things to worry about than the opinions of others. But if they dislike him because the guy wants to win, well, then that team has some serious problems on the way.’’
Wade and Butler can and should move on from this. Butler is now a key member of one of the best young teams in the NBA, a squad that is playoff bound this season and could be a contender in a few, while Wade will be picking a new team soon enough (Cleveland?). The Bulls last year didn’t work (not enough shooting) but it’s time to move on.
It’s Bulls fans that can’t move on and will be watching a rebuild run by GarPax the next few years. You feel for them.