As expected, Jimmy Butler says no issue between him, Derrick Rose
Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.
Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.
However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Butler: "I don’t understand why everybody wants to find a problem with me and Derrick. Let us be the fierce, (expletive) competitors we are"— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 8, 2015
Butler: "I love having Derrick as a teammate. Just let us play together. I think we can be one of the best, if not best, backcourts in NBA."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 8, 2015
Butler: "I’ve said it multiple times: I don’t care whose team it is. My job is just to help win. When we win, everybody looks great."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 8, 2015
Butler said his increased vocal leadership isn't slighting anybody, that coaches and teammates have asked him to take larger role.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 8, 2015
Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose have been texting regularly about Hoiberg's offense, including this morning.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 8, 2015
Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.
This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.
But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.
For now, however, tounges are wagging.