Coming next NBA season, there will be no power struggle on the Chicago Bulls. When the Bulls introduced (courtesy of ESPN) superstar guard Dwyane Wade to the Chicago media, the biggest question was answered almost immediately — whose team is it?
That question comes on the heels on the Bulls’ signings of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. And although no answer was necessary for some Bulls’ fans, there needed to be a response to appease everyone else.
According to Dwyane Wade, the Chicago Bulls is Jimmy Butler’s team.
If things work out the way Wade and Rajon Rondo stated just a couple of weeks ago, Jimmy Butler will have two teammates who will serve as great mentors. A perfect situation now unfolds for the Bulls. It is a dream scenario for Jimmy Butler to learn from a future Hall of Famer. What also helps is that Dwyane Wade is still in the position to contribute at a high level.
“We had no championships at the time, and I remember his press conference. I was playing in the Olympics at the time, like Jimmy [Butler] is right now. And I remember Shaq [Shaquille O’Neal] said: ‘We’re not going to go through this all year. This is Dwyane Wade’s team.”
It helps that Wade was on the other side of the situation as the young player on the rise welcoming a veteran. What gets said and what happens now and during the season will determine how good the Bulls can be. Part of having a successful season hinges on how the egos in the locker room meshes. If the combination of pieces work out to perfection, it can propel a team to championship. This has been the strategy of the San Antonio Spurs for the last 20 years.
When looking at the make-up of the Spurs, they have talent, but not the best talent in the lot. But they play like a team. The cohesion is obvious. There is a mix of American and foreign players. Many of the names on the Spurs rosters over the years were basically throwaway players.
For the past few years, the Chicago Bulls have tried to emulate what the San Antonio Spurs have done. Think about the motivation behind the Bulls drafting Nikola Mirotic. By the time Mirotic was in the draft, NBA teams were comfortable taking foreign-based players high in the first round. Mirotic was the No. 23 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. The Bulls acquired him in a trade with the Houston Rockets.
Nikola Mirotic is one of the remaining Bulls players after a true offseason roster makeover. Along with Jimmy Butler, you have the Bulls main holdovers. And in this case Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo are the throwaway players who can still contribute. Jimmy Butler is the key to make everything cohesive. Therefore, the Bulls are his team.
When asked about the comments of his Bulls teammate, Jimmy Butler seemed flattered. Butler’s thoughts can be viewed here, courtesy of CSN Chicago.
The Bulls hope that everybody can get along. What it will take for that to happen is for Butler to fully embrace his new responsibilities. What Butler has to do now is take on the role as the face of the Bulls.
Being in that role for the Bulls will require Jimmy Butler to take on the heavy minutes, play lockdown defense when it is needed, and make the smart basketball decision on offense. He will also have to help the Bulls recruit other players, something that worked when he helped the Bulls lure Dwyane Wade.
Butler has been talking the talk for the past year.
In an interview with CSN Chicago‘s Vincent Goodwill, Jimmy Butler delves into how he recruited Wade.
“Just what we can do if we were to play basketball together. I said look man, I’m okay with whatever role you want me to play. But we can win games if you’re here with us. So that’s basically how it went.
“I was telling him, of all the things that have been said, I’m here to win. I don’t care what role I’m supposed to play, whose team it is, you come here, we’ll win games.”
If the Chicago Bulls want to win, it will take for Jimmy Butler to lastly check his ego at the door when it is necessary. Several times last season it appeared that he butted heads with several Bulls teammates. There was a power struggle within the Bulls, and those who challenged the new sheriff is now elsewhere. That cannot happen with either of the Bulls players. Chemistry, harmony, and togetherness has to be the foundation the Bulls set up. That resulted in the necessary notion that the Bulls are Jimmy Butler’s team. Without Wade coming out to say it would be troublesome.
In a smaller sense, the Bulls are also Nikola Mirotic’s team. Do not forget that Mirotic will be relied upon in what can be a special year for him. During the video, Butler mentions his incumbent Bulls teammates, which was necessary, and a sign that he is starting to understand what the Bulls are expecting of him.
The Chicago Bulls are Jimmy Butler’s team primarily in name. He has busted his tail to get where he is, and the arc is only going up. Dwyane Wade knows this. But the veteran also knows that he will be heard from a lot in the box score once the next NBA season starts.
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