Bulls

Jimmy Butler goes 1-on-1 with Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill

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Jimmy Butler goes 1-on-1 with Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill

CSN's Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill sat down with shooting guard Jimmy Butler to discuss his recent maximum contract, the leadership role he hopes to take on this year and his relationship with Derrick Rose.

You can watch the interview in the video above. It's transcribed below. 

Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill: You said that you want to be more of a vocal leader. Did you sense a void there last year as far as leadership?

Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler: I'm not going to say I sensed a void. I think there can always be more of it. There can never be enough vocal leadership and I have to bring something new to the table, so why not make that my thing for this team? The thing I can bring most is to lead. I have to get better at it - I think we all have to - but that's the first step in me becoming the player I want to be.

Goodwill: Is that a maturity thing or the fact that you have the contract where people are going to pay more attention to you?

Butler: I don't think the contract has anything to do with anything. I think as you grow in this league and you see what guys do in this league - not even like stats-wise - just the way that they pull people along with them to do what they're doing and work as hard as they're working, I think that's the next step in my career is to be able to lead and have people follow in what I'm doing.

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Goodwill: Is it reasonable to consider that there's more room for you to grow as an individual player?

Butler: I hope so, that's my goal. That's why I go in every summer with the same mindset, to get better. I go in every day to get better. And I think if I continue to work as hard as I've been working, why can't I make another jump? Why can't I get more assists, get more points, get more rebounds, whatever it may be? As long as I'm confident in my game, which I am, I think all that will take care of itself.

Goodwill: How much do you and Derrick Rose need each other to get past Cleveland and the rest of the East?

Butler: We need everybody on the floor. I think everybody just puts an emphasis on me and Derrick because (we're) point guard (and) 2-guard spots, the backcourt, whatever you want to call it. But we can't do it by ourselves. I can't. He can't. We have the other three guys on the court for a reason. We have our bench players for a reason. We just have to focus in on whatever it takes to make our team win on any given night. If (Derrick's) hot, get him the ball. If he's feeling it, get him the ball. Same way with Pau, same way with Jo. Me, Niko. It doesn't matter. Doesn't matter how many points anybody scores because at the end of the day the object of the game is to win, no matter if you're scoring two points or 50 points per game, if you win that championship everybody gets that ring, everybody's a winner.

Goodwill: Did that criticism bother you over the summer?

Butler: I don't read it to tell you the truth. I think my agent was like, 'Hey, did you read this?' Or my brother. Man, it has nothing to do with me. I'm in here working. I don't have time to read what people say on the internet. I'm pretty sure multiple times this season I'll be not worth the contract that I just got, I'm not a good player. That's fine. I'll just focus on the people that matter: my teammates, my family and this organization. Those are truly the only opinions that I'll take into mind.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Hub Arkush (ProFootball Weekly) and Jason Goch (SB Nation) join Kap on the panel.

The guys debate which team will finish with a higher draft pick when the season ends: Bulls or Blackhawks?

Plus, hear their reaction to the MLB’s new pace-of-play rule change.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: