Jimmy Butler’s pitch to Dwyane Wade to join the Bulls
Wade, a Chicago native, is excited to play for his hometown team. Going back to his roots was certainly a factor in this decision, but Dwyane also needed to have confidence in their roster and their situation before signing.
Jimmy Butler took care of that.
After asserting himself as the best player on the Bulls last season, Butler is the unquestioned leader with both Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah off to the Knicks. Part of that leadership role involves courting free agents to join forces with him in Chicago, and that’s exactly what happened with D-Wade.
During Wade’s introductory press conference in which he clarified that the Bulls are Jimmy’s team, Dwyane also stated that it was Butler who initially sold him on coming to Chicago.
So, what did he say that persuaded Flash to make such a monumental decision?
“Just what we can do if we were to play basketball together. I said look man, I’m okay with whatever role you want me to play,” said Butler to CSNChicago.com in an exclusive interview after Team USA beat Venezuela 80-45 Friday at the United Center, with Wade sitting next to Team USA’s bench. “But we can win games if you’re here with us. So that’s basically how it went.
“I was telling him, of all the things that have been said, I’m here to win. I don’t care what role I’m supposed to play, whose team it is, you come here, we’ll win games.”
At this point in his career, Wade is willing to sacrifice himself for the betterment of his team. He did so in Miami when best friend LeBron James came to town, albeit reluctantly. In Chicago, there’s no hesitation.
“Outside of all of that, all anybody wants is to be wanted,” Butler said. “He wants me to step up and lead. He wants this to be my team. Just like I wanted him for my team. That mutual respect, us being honest with each other like that, that’s where it starts. That’s the foundation.”
Wade proved last season that he can still compete and perform at an All-Star level. With more of the load lifted off of his shoulders in Chicago, Dwyane should be able to retain more energy for moments where it’s needed, rather than using it consistently to keep his team afloat throughout the season like he did in Miami.