Jimmy Butler is frustrated, according to ESPN.
NBA players are taught how to speak to the media. Everyone goes through the classes when they are rookies. So, when someone publicly vents about something that should normally be kept in the locker room, then it shows just how far past the boiling point they have gotten.
After losing to the New York Knicks, Jimmy Butler shared his opinions on Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg.
“I believe in the guys in this locker room, yeah. But I also believe that we probably have to be coached a lot harder at times. I’m sorry, I know Fred’s a laid-back guy, and I really respect him for that, but when guys aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, you got to get on guys, myself included. You got to do what you’re supposed to do when you’re out there playing basketball.”
Emotions cloud the logic. Deep down, Jimmy Butler knows that it is not wise to tell your coach how to do his job, especially to the media. The Chicago Bulls star guard has now put Fred Hoiberg in a really awkward position, where he has to prove that he has control over his own team.
For five years, the Chicago Bulls were under control with Tom Thibodeau, who had a reputation of being very strict with his players. Jimmy Butler grew accustomed to that style of coaching and blossomed into one of the better perimeter players in the NBA. Fred Hoiberg, a former guard in the league himself, does not have that type of demeanor.
Fred Hoiberg did his homework on Tom Thibodeau before taking the offer from the Chicago Bulls to become their new head coach. He definitely did not want to get into the same situation where he lost the trusts of his players by being too strict, which is what caused the Bulls to terminate Thibodeau despite having a winning record.
If members of the Chicago Bulls were not playing as hard as they normally do during that game against the New York Knicks, then fatigue might have been a factor. The night before, the team played four overtimes against Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons.
Jimmy Butler didn’t specify which teammates he felt did not give 100 percent, however. Derrick Rose played 54 minutes. Forwards Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol each logged more than 44 minutes. Tony Snell played 38 minutes, which is much more than his normal average. Reserves Doug McDermott, Nikola Mirotic and Joakim Noah all logged more than 22 minutes off the bench.
With a 15-10 record, the Chicago Bulls are currently sitting at fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Whatever problems that Jimmy Butler has with Fred Hoiberg needs to be sorted out soon so they can stay in playoffs contention. Since the team is getting older, home court advantage becomes that much more of a wanted commodity.
Windows of opportunities do not stay open forever, especially since the Chicago Bulls might be losing some key pieces after the season. Pau Gasol is 35-years-old and might be opting out of his contract to take advantage of the raised salary cap next season. Joakim Noah has been unhappy with his reserved role and could look elsewhere in the NBA for a starting gig.
For Fred Hoiberg, this is new territory. When he was coaching the Iowa State Cyclones, none of his players would dare to call out their coach to the media. Things are a lot different in the NBA where the players that you are coaching often times make millions of dollars more than you do.
What happens in the next few months will determine if Fred Hoiberg can make it in the NBA.
[Featured Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]