If Jimmy Butler re-signing with the Chicago Bulls isn’t enough to make people understand there is no problem between him and Derrick Rose, maybe him simply talking about the rumors will finally squash the suggestions there’s some sort of issue between the team’s backcourt stars.
Butler was signed on a five-year, $95 million deal this offseason, not getting to taste too much of restricted free agency, which is quite limited anyway. Before it began, rumors spread about Butler hoping the Los Angeles Lakers will try to sign him, and that he and Derrick Rose don’t get along on the basketball court or off of it, circulating right after they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Speaking on the “Be Honest” podcast with ESPN’s Cari Champion, Butler put down the talk suggesting that he and Rose can’t co-exist on the same team or in the same backcourt.
I think he’s always been supportive of me being aggressive, especially on offense. We all know that I’ll be the aggressor on defense. So from what I can tell, the guy’s always been in my corner. The only reason that it came up is because we lost. I don’t think we have any beef or whatever you want to call it. I think we just want to win. We didn’t win, so now people say we’re beefing, now we have a problem with each other, and I don’t think that’s the case.
He has his family, I got my guys with me all the time. So we spend so much time with each other if we’re traveling on the plane, we’re practicing, we’re watching film, we’re playing in a game. That’s a lot of time to be around your team. So off the floor, you say hello, you might hang out every once in a while. But I think everybody goes their separate ways, unless you’re like rookies and you don’t got anything else to do. Y’all hang out with each other, but everybody kind of got their group with them.
Butler averaged 20 points per game last season while leading the NBA in playing time, spending 38.7 minutes per game on the floor. He made the All-Star game for the first time in his career and did even better in the postseason in both averages and his per minute and per possession numbers. The Bulls were constantly better with him on the floor than without him, outscoring teams by 4.5 points per 100 possessions when he was playing.