During an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Wednesday, Jimmy Butler blamed himself for not winning enough to help keep Derrick Rose a Bull, but he agreed with the show’s hosts who insinuated that the Bulls’ website placed blame on him too.
“The Jump” host Rachel Nichols asked Butler about a post on Bulls.com that she said characterized Butler as a selfish player. Also, Bulls.com reporter, and former Chicago Tribune reporter, Sam Smith told a Fox Sports radio show in April that Butler has a “colossal ego.”
“I mean, I’ve just never seen that on a team site. Did you talk to them about that at all?” Nichols asked.
“Nope,” Butler said while looking down. “I let people think what they want to think. I know where I stand. I know what I’m about. I think my teammates do as well.”
Guest analyst Stephen Jackson interjected. “That can’t happen from an organization who you’re busting your butt for every night,” he said.
“Agreed,” Butler said.
“That can’t happen, I’m sorry. I’ll speak up for him,” Jackson said.
“Agreed,” Butler repeated.
Butler cut in, “But then again, I didn’t read it. People tell me but I really don’t pay attention to it, I don’t get caught up in the media and all of that. I’m with you, though.”
Butler addressed his relationship with Bulls management and pre-draft rumors that linked him to trade scenarios with the Timberwolves and Celtics. “I love the city of Chicago, Chicago basketball. … They drafted me. I’ve been here my entire career, but nothing’s for certain,” he said.
However, with Rose’s trade to the Knicks last week, he embraced the role of team leader. “We better have guys that can play, but as the best player I better help us win some games. You can take that for how you want or you’re going to be saying how bad I am,” he said.
Earlier in the show, Butler had “no bad things to say about” Rose and dismissed reports of friction between them, but added he wasn’t surprised Rose was dealt to the Knicks.
“I can’t say that I was surprised but I knew that it had to be one of us, to tell you the truth,” Butler said. He added that if the Bulls had won, “we’d probably still be teammates.”
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