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The 27-year-old NBA All-Star concedes that he can be a tough person to work with, especially when things aren’t going well, as was the case with the Bulls prior to getting traded this summer.
Butler says he simply expects to everyone else to work as hard as he does.
“I think it’s wrong for me to think that people want what I want because in reality they don’t. Some people are OK with getting drafted. Some people are OK with playing two years in the league, four years in the league, six years in the league. Some people are OK with just scoring a basket in an NBA game. I’m not OK with any of that. I’m not satisfied until I win a championship,” he says. “I want everybody to work the way that I work and it’s wrong for me to think like that because people don’t do it! But in my mind I’m just like why? Why don’t you want to chase greatness the way that I do?”
I ask Butler if he’s a difficult person to be around.
“Yes,” he says. “But then again it’s bad on my part because I know better,” Butler [adds]. “It’s kind of contradicting itself. It’s like, ‘Well Jimmy you know better, don’t do that.’ But then the other half is just like, ‘Well, if you can do it everybody can do it.’ But then it goes back again. ‘You know that it don’t work like that, right? Yeah, I know, but I think that it can so everybody needs to work like this.'”
This is what he has to say. Or at least some of it:
“I’m confrontational. I feed off of confrontation. It makes me go. 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 now I’m in Minnesota and couldn’t be happier.”