Jimmy Butler has been a popular name as the rumor mill continues to churn prior to next week’s NBA Draft. The Bulls shooting guard, who is looking forward to next season in Chicago, discussed all of the trade rumors, what went wrong last season and how he and Derrick Rose can co-exist as a guest on The Bill Simmons Podcast on Wednesday.
During the conversation Butler was asked if he would be rooting for his former head coach Tom Thibodeau to succeed in Minnesota.
“Am I rooting for him? I'm rooting for the Bulls," Butler said. "I'm rooting for my team. When we go up against Thibs, oh yeah, I'm going to try to whoop his ass, definitely.”
Criticism of Butler’s former head coach Tom Thibodeau, now coaching the Timberwolves, was a topic that surfaced during the conversation with Simmons.
“Obviously I have a lot of respect for Thibs. I have zero bad things to say about him,” Butler told Simmons. “I might have had some bad things to say about him my rookie year when he didn't play me. Really love the guy. Really respect him. And he studies the game so incredibly well, he's going to get the young guys to buy in to guarding and playing hard.”
Simmons then asked what the biggest misconception about Thibodeau is.
"People always try to criticize him for playing his guys too much. But, I mean at the end of the day we wanted to come out of the game we really could. I think guys just loved to play basketball that it doesn't really hit you until afterwards.”
“He always wants to put the team that he's coaching in the best position to win. That's why he may play guys 48 minutes. I never once complained about it. All I ever wanted to do was play whenever I was a rookie. When I didn't play all I ever wanted to do was play. Then he plays me 48 minutes. I can't complain because I asked for it.”
It's obvious Butler respects Thibodeau for how he shaped his career, but it's also clear the highly competitive NBA star is eager to get a crack at him as an opponent next season.