Written By: Dennis Vilimek – Staff Writing Intern (@Dvilimek25)
All the talk about the Chicago Bulls lately has been about the comments that Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler made after a disappointing loss to the Hawks on Wednesday night. The bulls blew a ten point lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, and those two players had controversial things to say.
Wade continued to say that he doesn’t know if the other players on the team care enough, and Butler said some of the same in his postgame comments. Butler said, “If you don’t come in motherf–kin’ pissed off every game, any game. If you’re not pissed off that you lost, something is wrong.” To be fair, this was a game where Butler and Wade scored 40 and 33 points respectively, while the next highest scorer was McDermott with ten.
I can understand frustration after such a bad loss, but it is unacceptable to call out teammates to the press for everyone to see. This should have been something that Butler and Wade said to their team in private, making it a lot easier for the team to figure out their problems without dealing with all the outside pressures and distractions from the media.
Rajon Rondo had a response on Instagram where he basically called out Wade and Butlers leadership skills. While I do agree with many of the things Rondo says, I once again do not think social media was the correct place to display his thoughts.
I don’t think Rondo would say something this bold if he had a future with the Bulls, but he knows he doesn’t. Either way, the comments from all three players were not acceptable and should have been kept private with the team. The other problem I have with Rondo’s post is that he talks about the Bulls vets like he isn’t one of them. He’s the oldest and most experienced player on the team aside from Wade, so if he acted like the veteran leaders that he praised so much in his post, he wouldn’t be calling out teammates either.
Regardless of who is right and wrong in this situation, the Bulls need some drastic changes to get their season back on track. One thing that is and has been noticeable since last year is the lack of respect for Coach Fred Hoiberg. During Hoiberg’s first season with the Bulls, Butler made comments about his coaching style. Butler does not think that Hoiberg is very hard on the team and may be too laid back at times. I personally don’t think that Jimmy has a lot of respect for Hoiberg, and this can still be seen if you pay close enough attention during games.
I think firing Hoiberg is an option, but it isn’t exactly necessary. The real problem with the Bulls is their front office, and this has been visible for years. They have not been competent enough to build a legit NBA title contending lineup even though they made the playoffs seven straight years after drafting Derrick Rose.
The injuries to D Rose obviously didn’t make things very easy, but there were never any big moves that were made that would have made a difference anyway. It wasn’t until this year that any major changes were made, and those changes turned out to create an awful dynamic with Rondo already on his way out and Wade threatening to leave after the season.
Their draft choices have also been brutal, with their last good pick being Jimmy Butler. They gave up too much for McDermott to actually call it a great pick, so basically the last 5 years of drafting have been a waste. One of my all-time favorite moves was when the Bulls traded LaMarcus Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas, classic.
I really don’t see this team going anywhere better than being a low seed in the East unless some major changes are made. Many Chicagoans would be happy seeing the whole front office being cleared, but that probably won’t happen. There are some pieces to build around like Butler and McDermott while almost everyone else should be considered in trades, but the right ones. That may be too hard to ask from Bulls management, so I’m sorry to say that Chicago will continue to watch mediocre basketball for years to come.