Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler did not start tonight against the Miami Heat as a result of their comments after a recent loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Chicago Bulls are having quite the season. That’s not a compliment by the way. The team is sitting at a record of 23-24, which is not where they pictured they’d be less than a month before the All-Star break.
After Wednesday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Dwyane Wade didn’t hold back when speaking to the media about the effort of some of his teammates.
“It just doesn’t mean enough to guys around here to want to win ballgames,” the three-time champion said. “It pissed me off, but I can’t be frustrated and I can’t care too much for these guys; they’ve got to care for themselves. We have to do better.”
Inconsistency has been consistent for the Bulls pretty much throughout the season, and a blown 10-point lead in the fourth quarter to the Hawks didn’t help. Wade and Jimmy Butler combined for 73 of the team’s 119 points in a game that should have worked out in Chicago’s favor.
Butler had his share of words as well when he was asked about the loss.
“(Expletive) just got to care if we win or lose,” Butler stated. “On top of everything else, just play every possession like it’s your last. We don’t play hard all the time. I want to play with guys that care, guys that play hard, that want to do well for this organization, that want to win games. Who cares who is shining?”
And if that wasn’t enough, you know Rajon Rondo had to get a few words in. The point guard used Instagram to express his thoughts on how Wade and Butler handled their post game interviews.
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My vets would never go to the media. They would come to the team. My vets didn't pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn't take days off. My vets didn't care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn't blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game. My vets didn't have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn't change the plan because it didn't work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can't win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I'm not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don't deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it's the leadership.
That was a mouthful. The first sentence states “My vets would never go to the media.” It’s hypocritical because that’s exactly what Rondo did by posting a rebuttal on social media. To question the manner in which a teammate handled a particular situation, consequently to use a similar method made the former All-Star look bad.
Rondo is having a career-worst season. He is shooting 36.4 percent from the floor and his performance has led to him being benched at times. He was even suspended for one game because of an altercation with Bulls assistant coach Jim Boylen earlier this season.
The Bulls are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Eighth is not a good seed to have considering you’d have to play the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.
That’s a first class ticket home in four or five games if you ask me. Despite the fact they’ve defeated the Cavs in both matchups, I’m pretty sure the outcome would be different in the postseason.
The Bulls need to figure it out sooner rather than later. Next month’s All-Star break is exactly what the team needs. It will be a time to reflect on how each player can improve individually as well as a collective unit. Butler is the only representative from Chicago playing in the annual exhibition. Wade will miss his first All-Star game in 12 seasons.
What do you think? Will the Bulls make the playoffs? Should they make a trade before the deadline? How about a coaching change? Drop a comment and let me know.