But­ler: Bulls took Hoiberg over me

Chicago Sun-Times - - BULLS BEAT - BY DAN CAHILL For the Sun- Times Fol­low me on Twit­ter @danc­ahill_ cst.

It sounds like Jimmy But­ler isn’t ready to move on from the Bulls.

Dur­ing an in­ter­view with ESPN’s Sam Alipour on a lake in Min­nesota, the Tim­ber­wolves guard was asked why the Bulls would trade their best, hard­est­work­ing player in his prime.

“I prob­a­bly went about a lot of things the wrong way,” But­ler said. “Peo­ple don’t work as hard as I do and don’t ex­pect the same things out of the game that I do. And that’s my fault, and I’ve learned from that. I said from the be­gin­ning — it was ei­ther go­ing to be me or the Fred Hoiberg route. And right­fully so, they took Fred. Good for them. I’ve got that game marked on my cal­en­dar — Feb. 9, baby, I’m back.”

But­ler had a run- in with Hoiberg in De­cem­ber 2015, when he fa­mously called him out for be­ing soft on his play­ers.

But­ler was traded on draft night in June and was re­united with his old Bulls coach, Tom Thi­bodeau, in Min­nesota. A few days after the trade, But­ler let loose on the Bulls’ or­ga­ni­za­tion, telling the Sun- Times:

“I guess be­ing called the face of an or­ga­ni­za­tion isn’t as good as I thought. We all see where be­ing the so- called face of the Chicago Bulls got me. So let me be just a player for the Tim­ber­wolves, man. That’s all I want to do. I just want to be win­ning games, do what I can for my re­spec­tive or­ga­ni­za­tion and let them re­al­ize what I’m try­ing to do.

“What­ever they want to call me . . . face . . . I don’t even want to get into that any­more. Whose team is it? All that means noth­ing. You know what I’ve learned? Face of the team, even­tu­ally you’re go­ing to see the back of his head as he’s leav­ing town, so no thanks.”

Win­ning games, he is. Though But­ler is hav­ing his worst sea­son sta­tis­ti­cally since 2013- 14, the Tim­ber­wolves were 7- 1 in the eight games he played in go­ing into Wed­nes­day. But­ler sat out two games with an up­per­res­pi­ra­tory ill­ness, and the Tim­ber­wolves lost both. He was av­er­ag­ing 15.1 points after scor­ing 20- plus for three sea­sons with the Bulls.

“I’ve got that game marked on my cal­en­dar — Feb. 9, baby, I’m back.” — Jimmy But­ler, on his first game back at the United Cen­ter with the Tim­ber­wolves


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