Jimmy Butler took a canoe trip for an ESPN segment called “Hang Time,” and the former Bulls guard made some waves. Asked by host Sam Alipour why the Bulls would have made him available, he replied: “I probably went about a lot of things the wrong way. People don’t work as hard as I do and they 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 that it was either going to be me or the Fred Hoiberg route. And, rightfully so, they took Fred. Good for them. I have that game marked on my calendar. February 9, baby, I’m back.” While it’s true that Hoiberg had more years left on his deal, Bulls officials would say they moved Butler as part of a rebuild, not a power struggle with its young coach. “I don’t think it had anything to do with one person or another,” Hoiberg said before Tuesday’s night game in Toronto. “This was the direction chosen. We've got some really good young pieces.” Chicago lost an All-Star in his prime to the Timberwolves but received Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the ability to move up to take Lauri Markkanen in the draft. “With Lauri and everything he has shown as a 20-year-old kid, he has a tremendous future in this league,” Hoiberg said. “Kris Dunn has the physical tools to be an excellent player in this league. We haven’t seen Zach yet but seeing him work … we've got a guy who is a proven scorer and with his athletic tools and ability to shoot the ball, has a chance to be a superstar when it’s all said and done. “We miss Jimmy. He is an unbelievable player and has had a great impact on winning for Minnesota. And he will continue to do that. We always wish him the best.” After a canoe ride on a lake in Minnesota, Butler said during the five-minute video that Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau has changed, somewhat.
Jimmy Butler: 'It was either going to be me or the Fred Hoiberg route' for Bulls
Chicago Tribune | Nov 7