Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade call out Bulls teammates after loss
The Chicago Bulls lost to the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night thanks in large part to a horrible fourth quarter, and Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade unloaded on their teammates over it after the game.
While speaking with reporters, Butler and Wade seemed like they had rehearsed their message. They both expressed frustration that it was Niko Mirotic and Paul Zipser — not Wade or Butler — taking crucial shots near the end of the game. The veterans also questioned whether their younger teammates care about winning.
“I’m 35 years old, man. I’ve got three championships. It shouldn’t hurt me more than it hurts these young guys,” Wade said, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. “They have to want it. … Games are supposed to hurt. You’re not supposed to sleep, you’re not supposed to want to talk to anybody. These games are supposed to hurt. I don’t know if that is in guys in this locker room.”
Butler shared very similar thoughts.
“Mother f—ers just got to care if we win or lose,” he said. “At the end of the day, do whatever it takes to help the team win. … I understand that if you’ve got an open shot take it. But at a point in the game like that, no offense but you gotta get the ball to your best players. That’s just how the game goes. Let it come down on my shoulders or D-Wade’s shoulders. Let us be the reason why.
“I felt like everything was going in that I put up there, It happens man, you just got to learn from it. I’m not mad at the shot selection. I just think there’s a time and place for all of that.”
The Bulls have a quality roster, but inconsistent play has kept them hovering around the .500 mark all season. Wade and Butler clearly feel effort is the biggest issue, and Wade said it is a problem both in practice and on game nights. They feel they are the only two players pulling their weight.
Wade: "I can look at Jimmy and say Jimmy's doing his job. Jimmy can look at me and say Dwyane's doing his job."
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 26, 2017
For what it’s worth, Butler brushed off questions about the trade deadline and said all he cares about is winning right now.
Butler scored 40 points on Wednesday night and Wade dropped 33. It’s tough to lose a game with that type of production from your best players, but the Bulls imploded in the fourth quarter. One of their biggest offseason acquisitions has been a total disaster, and Wade already sounds like he may be regretting returning home to Chicago. Things could get worse from here.