Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade won’t start for the Chicago Bulls Friday night as discipline for their contentious comments Wednesday night, ESPN reports.
The Bulls are going through a tumultuous time at the moment, with players speaking out in print and on social media, and Friday saw more fireworks as the team addressed the media at the Advocate Center ahead of their game against the Miami Heat.
After a lengthy meeting before their shootaround, star forward Butler addressed the media and had some interesting comments to make about the state of things with the Bulls.
“I like it. I’m sorry, but I like controversy,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re all we’ve got. I don’t regret anything. Like it or not, I’m me.”
Butler and teammate Wade spoke out forcefully about their teammates’ perceived lack of fire after a disappointing loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. After that, point guard Rajon Rondo posted a scathing Instagram post that seemingly went after both players, and after the conflagration a meeting was called Friday morning to ease tensions.
According to Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg, Butler, Wade, and Rondo were all fined for their roles in the drama, and the team held a meeting to air out all of their issues.
Wade confirmed that the team did discuss the issues on Friday, and he insisted that there are no hard feelings between him and his teammates.
“We met today. Grown men talking to grown men,” he said. “Winning cures all. I have no issues with Rondo.”
Butler and Wade both echoed the sentiments that they have no lingering issues with Rondo, and that they’re looking to move forward and try to bring the locker room together.
“As a leader, sometimes you can’t be liked,” Wade said. “I’m probably not the most liked guy in the locker room right now, but that’s okay.”
Rondo also weighed in on the controversy, saying that he has no hard feelings but just wanted to speak up for the young players on the team.
“I said what I said. People can take it how they want it. It wasn’t a rant. It was just my thoughts,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to be the bad guy but I have a great relationship with the young guys and they had some things to say.”
Finally, Hoiberg stepped to the microphone and made it clear that he wants all problems to be handled in-house rather than to be aired out in the media.
“It’s unacceptable to air your grievances through the media,” he said. “We talked about it at our very first meeting of the year.”
Published at 7:10 PM CST on Jan 27, 2017