Jimmy Butler has made it clear many times that he had nothing to do with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah leaving Chicago.
As Team USA prepared for their exhibition versus Venezuela on Friday, the two-time All-Star made it clear again he had nothing to do with his former teammates leaving for the New York Knicks, via ESPN:
“That has nothing to do with me. I don’t move guys,” Butler said before Thursday’s Team USA practice at the United Center in Chicago. “It’s like I always say: People are going to think what they want to think. hat doesn’t bother me. I know where I stand. I know who I am.”
The 26-year-old shooting guard is the player who has been pinned with the most blame for Chicago’s 42-40 non-playoff season last year. It was the first time in eight years the team had missed the playoffs.
Despite the taste of last year’s underwhelming season still fresh, Butler had nothing but positive things to say about his experiences with both Rose and Noah:
“I’m happy for [Rose]. He’s happy for me,” Butler said. “I’m glad we get to go against each other whatever day that may be when the season rolls around. I talked to Jo. We texted a few messages. Nothing too serious, but we’re always going to have love for each other because we’re always going to be teammates. We were in those trenches together.”
The Bulls have a new three-headed monster with Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo flanking Butler this time around. If Chicago manages to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season, there is no doubt Butler will receive heavy criticism once again.