Jimmy Butler got traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves this summer, and he’s shedding some light on the coaching style of Fred Hoiberg.
Jimmy Butler and his former coach, Fred Hoiberg, had a lackluster two-year run together with the Chicago Bulls, and one of the noticeable quirks in their relationship was the contrast in how they acted. Butler has admitted to being an in-your-face guy, whereas Hoiberg lands on the other end of the spectrum.
“I’m confrontational. I feed off of confrontation. It makes me go,” said Butler to VICE Sports’ Michael Pina. “Not everybody’s like that. [Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg] is not that coach, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are different coaching styles and people are gonna say — which is what they did say — ‘It’s gonna be Jimmy’s team or it’s gonna be Fred’s team.’ Two total opposite ends of the spectrum. They’re either gonna try to win it now or they’re gonna go young. And you see which way they went with it. Completely fine. Yo, it’s y’all’s business. It’s y’all’s organization. It’s cool. And I’m in Minnesota and couldn’t be happier.”
Chicago parted ways with Butler on the night of the 2017 NBA Draft. He had spent six seasons with the organization. The deal returned Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the draft rights to Lauri Markkanen, who was the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft. As Butler pointed out, the Bulls elected to stick with their coach and build for the future.
Hoiberg’s lackadaisicalness irritated Butler, and the two had various instances where they didn’t see eye-to-eye. When dealing with a player as hyper competitive as Butler, it’s best to have a coach who has the same personality. Before Hoiberg, Tom Thibodeau led the Bulls to a handful of fantastic seasons, and he was the type of coach Butler had no problem backing.
Thibs was inexplicably let go. He then landed with the Timberwolves and is now aspiring to surround his young team with more seasoned guys who can extract the most from them.
Interestingly enough, a report surfaced the Boston Celtics cooled on their pursuit of Butler after thinking he’d have issues coexisting with Gordon Hayward — both on- and off-the-court. Antoine Walker also came out earlier this summer and said that Butler’s a “bad locker room guy.”
Jimmy Butler, who turns 28 later this month, made his third-straight All-Star appearance and landed on his first All-NBA team in 2017. He averaged 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 76 games.
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