The Chicago Bulls and Jimmy Butler weren’t a match made in heaven, to say the least.
Butler turned himself into one of the NBA’s best two-way players during his time with the Bulls, but for whatever reason, Chicago was hesitant to build a team around the star forward.
The Bulls eventually decided to move on from Butler in the offseason, shipping him to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a draft-day trade. It doesn’t appear Butler was hell-bent on leaving the Windy City, but there was one change he wanted to be made in order to stick around.
“I probably did a lot of things that they didn’t like — like maybe the way I would talk to my peers or coaches,” Butler told ESPN’s Sam Alipour. “People don’t work as hard as I do. They don’t expect the same things out of the game that I do. And I said from the beginning it was either gonna be me or the Fred Hoiberg route. And rightfully so, they took Fred. Good for them.”
Butler now finds himself in a great situation, as the Timberwolves are a team on the rise with two of the league’s brightest young players in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Minnesota will have its work cut out for it in a tough Western Conference, but there’s one game this season in particular Butler can’t wait for: his return to Chicago.
“…I got that game marked on my calendar. Feb. 9, baby — I’m back. Oh, man, they better hope I go 0-for-30, ’cause every basket I score, I’m looking over at the bench and I got something to say. But I’m so happy to be here. Sometimes you just gotta appreciate it, man.”
It appears Butler isn’t forgiving nor forgetting in this case.
Thumbnail photo via Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports Images