The Chicago Bulls are hoping the Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose backcourt can carry them to an NBA title in the very near future, but in the meantime, they have to deal with the constant rumors coming in from every direction about the lack of love between the two.
The latest in the Butler-Rose disharmony series comes from the Chicago Sun-Times, sticking to the line that Butler isn’t a huge fan of Rose as a player or role model. The article suggests that the two get along just fine personally, but that Butler isn’t happy with Rose, who is the so-called face of the franchise (maybe no longer?), not giving 100% or even close during practice, or at least that was the case last season.
The Bulls, including the players themselves, have denied a number of times that there’s anything going on between the two. This is a situation resembling the media sticking to its guns in the case of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook not getting along with each other, although the two have been teammates for years from better and worse, and nothing has changed. Well, maybe at the end of this season, when Durant hits free agency.
Nothing is going to quiet these rumors about Rose and Butler except wins, and especially good, consistent ability from Rose. With Butler stepping up to an All-Star level last season, he got the big contract he wanted, and also recognition as the team’s possible star, it’s real star. He had playmaking duties added to the list during the team’s first preseason game with Rose out of the picture. How will things go when Rose is back and the season actually begins?
The two have never seemed to be having arguments or negative interactions on the court. This very well might be the media being the media and making stuff up out of thin air, grasping at certain hints and straws before blowing this out of proportion. But this is the NBA. These are young millionaire players, bursting with talent, ego and also agents and family and friends influencing them from outside the court, not always in a positive way. For the Bulls to finally fulfill what they set out to achieve when building this team around Rose, it’s going to take his and Butler’s full cooperation, even if the hierarchy changes a little bit along the way.