Jimmy Butler, Fred Hoiberg clear the air


Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler and head coach Fred Hoiberg cleared the air on Monday after Butler criticized the first-year head coach on Saturday.

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler met with reporters on Monday and expressed no regret over comments he made on Saturday night in regards to first-year head coach Fred Hoiberg.

“Do I regret it? No.” Butler said. “[I was] a little frustrated after a loss, yeah, but then again I put a lot of it on myself now because I gotta lead better, can’t allow stuff to happen. Yeah, we lost one I didn’t want to lose at home against Detroit and the way that we lost against New York. You got raw emotion right then and there [after the Knicks game].”

After the Bulls lost in four overtimes to the Detroit Pistons on Friday night and then looked flat in a loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday night, Butler was critical of Hoiberg. Butler expressed frustrations with Hoiberg’s laid back mentality. Those comments are something that Butler addressed with his teammates on Sunday.

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“Yeah, you can’t hide the elephant in the room,” Butler said. “I think everybody knew what was going on today when we talked in the building. So it was taken care of and it was good that it happened.”

Butler also told reporters on Monday that Bulls’ players have accepted him as the leader of the team. There is a question, though, to how true that statement is. Going forward and for the long-term, Butler certainly is the piece that the Bulls will be building around. However, this is still a Bulls’ team that has Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah on the roster. Both Rose and Noah may lay claim to being the leaders of the team.

Meanwhile, Hoiberg also met with reporters on Monday. Hoiberg suggested he was not hurt by Butler’s comments but did admit that the two had a meeting on Sunday to clear the air. Hoiberg also indicated that he could coach the team harder.

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“It’s a great question,” Hoiberg said when asked if he needed to coach this group harder. “Are there some things I can do better? Sure. Are there some things that all of us can do better? Absolutely. Are there some things I need to demand probably a little bit more? Sure. But it’s something where I thought we made a lot of progress as a team. It’s getting back to those things we demanded leading into that win streak. It’s about staying consistent with that and continue to build off what made us a successful team that week.”

The Bulls still have to adapt to Hoiberg’s coaching style. A part of that process is that the Bulls players also need to respect their head coach. At this point, it is fair to say that Hoiberg does not have the respect of the Bulls locker room. Though, that should change as the Bulls grow into Hoiberg’s system.

It’s a system that Butler believes he fits in.

“I think so,” Butler said. “I have to be. Because he signed here for five years, I signed here for five years. We’re going to be here so I think we have to make it work. We have to make it work within this team. And I know that we will.”

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Can Jimmy Butler and Fred Hoiberg co-exist with the Chicago Bulls? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below.