HOUSTON— Jimmy Butler will not play against the Houston Rockets Friday with a right heel contusion, an injury he suffered late in Wednesday’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Butler was seen walking with the Houston Rockets medical personnel to see about the severity of the injury one hour before gametime.
Butler missed two games earlier this season with an illness, so this is the first injury-induced absence for the Bulls’ All-Star this year. Butler had his foot wrapped up in the locker room after the win over the Thunder, but Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg didn’t allude to any injury concerns when asked about it after the morning shootaround and in the pregame.
Butler scored 28 in the last two wins as the Bulls have climbed back to .500, and was limping around during his warm-up session with associate coach Jim Boylen before the announcement came down.
For as long as he's been in the league, Taj Gibson has been considered one of the ultimate good guys.
That reputation won't be diminished in the slightest considering his reasoning for signing with the New York Knicks this summer.
Many expected the Bulls to make a run at Gibson to back up Lauri Markkanen at power forward. But as it turns out, the Knicks were going to be difficult to beat as a landing spot.
Via Marc Berman of the New York Post, Gibson decided to return home - he grew up in Brooklyn - to be closer to his father who recently underwent a heart transplant.
Gibson said he spent a large portion of June - in the lead-up to free agency - in New York as his father awaited a new heart. Gibson agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Knicks on the first day of free agency, just a few weeks after Wilbert Gibson had successful surgery in June.
The entire article is worth a read, but let us also add an anecdote Gibson shared about one of the first calls he received from a familiar voice.
Gibson knew lots of winning in seven seasons in Chicago — mostly with ex-Knicks assistant Tom Thibodeau. A known taskmaster, Thibodeau brought Gibson to the T’Wolves and knew of Gibson’s dream to one day be a Knick.
“Once I signed with New York, one of the first phone calls I got was from Thibs,” Gibson said. “That’s all we ever talked about throughout my time with Thibs — we always talked about New York.
“For it to finally happen, being able to say I was finally a New York Knick was a crazy feeling. We laughed for a minute. Then he was serious. He was like, ‘If anyone is capable of playing in New York, you’re a New York-style player.’ He knows me that I will play hard every night.”
Buckle up, nostalgic Bulls fans of the 2010s. There's a chance Joakim Noah teams up with LeBron James.
That's according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported Tuesday that the Lakers plan to work out Noah - along with two other centers - as they search for replacements for the injured DeMarcus Cousins.
As much as it will pain Bulls fans to hear it, Noah makes the most sense of any players listed above. Howard has a bad back that limited him to nine games last season (and we all know about his first stint with the Lakers), Speights last played in the NBA with the Orlando Magic in 2018, and Gortat played sparingly (47 games, 16.0 minutes) for the Clippers last season.
Noah had a resurgence in Memphis last season, averaging 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists in just 16.5 minutes. He'd obviously be an excellent locker-room presence and high-energy defender for a Lakers team that will need it. We also know that the fire in him hasn't run out. Just ask Devin Booker.
James and Noah have a long history of in-game scuffles, and while they undoubtedly have respect for one another, it'd be weird seeing the two team up in the same uniform.
Then again, James and Derrick Rose played together in Cleveland two seasons ago, so how much weirder can it really get?