Jimmy Butler: Fred Hoiberg Should Coach the Bulls ‘Harder’

One of the reasons Tom Thibodeau lost his job last season was his unrelenting, hard-driving style.

Fred Hoiberg, the new coach in Chicago, is the complete opposite of Thibs: laid-back, with a free-wheeling offensive style. But according to Bulls star Jimmy Butler, it would help if Hoiberg occassionally lost his cool and got in people’s faces (Butler’s included.)

Butler was venting following the Bulls’ second-consecutive loss, a 107-91 road blowout at the hands of the New York Knicks.

Per the Chicago Tribune:

Butler’s comments after the Bulls dropped their second in a row could be a harbinger of difficulties ahead between a veteran team and a first-year coach. Hoiberg took over for the fired Tom Thibodeau, who coached the team five seasons. […] “It’s not even about being coached a certain way for five years, it’s making everybody do their job,” Butler said. “We weren’t doing what we were supposed to be doing — what we wrote up on that board before the game. Nobody spoke up about it. I did (but) probably not enough times. (Hoiberg) has to hold everybody accountable from the No. 1 player all the way down to however many guys we have. When you match up and do your job we’ll win the game.”


“Do I think that we can get coached harder?” (Joakim) Noah asked? “Naw.” […] Butler’s claim that Hoiberg needs to “coach a lot harder” and “has to hold everyone accountable” contrasts sharply with Derrick Rose saying he never questions the coach after getting benched for Kirk Hinrich. It also presents an opportunity for Hoiberg, who absolutely should address Butler’s comments in front of the team and air all grievances.


What would seemingly be an ideal fit for a player as mobile and athletic as Butler has instead led to Butler going to Hoiberg early this season and talking about the need for more touches in the mid-post and on isolations, sources said. When Hoiberg recently confirmed Doug McDermott’s assertion that the Bulls started running sets that worked last year, calling plays for Butler was one of the changes. […] Furthermore, according to sources, Butler used profanity while addressing the coaching staff once and disrupted a film session on another occasion with critical comments. While those defending Butler say such instances stem from his frustration that few players match his work ethic, his habit of warming up on his own has alienated others to the point that Joakim Noah recently talked to Butler, a source said.