Scottie Pippen: Jimmy Butler wasn’t good leader for Bulls
“I don’t think he handled it right from a leadership standpoint of what it takes to be a superstar,” the Hall of Famer said on ESPN’s “The Jump.”
Asked to elaborate, Pippen said, “Well, it’s just a lot of locker room talk that Jimmy was disrespecting the head coach, disrespecting the assistant coach. Just wasn’t showing the type of leadership that you’d expect from your best player.”
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 29, 2017
Heading into last season, there were questions about Butler’s leadership ability after the Bulls made the decision to trade Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. It put that responsibility squarely on his shoulders and he struggled at times to adjust to the larger role.
However, Butler was able to rally the Bulls to secure a playoff spot with a strong run to the end season behind his play, helping in many ways to mask what was otherwise a disappointing year. It was a campaign that featured many ups and downs with the 27-year-old at the center of the internal mess, butting heads with Rajon Rondo and head coach Fred Hoiberg.
It was an experience that Butler should be able to learn from at his next stop with the Timberwolves. It should be a more smooth and cohesive process under Tom Thibodeau, who has his head coach with the Bulls previously.