Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler has sure played like a star this season, such as Thursday night when he hung 35 big ones on the visiting New York Knicks.
Butler says he doesn’t want the moniker; his desire is to simply be viewed as a good role player. (Fat chance, Jimbo.)
Per the Bulls’ team website:
“I don’t want be a star,” Butler was saying in answer to a question after the Bulls struggling 103-97 victory Thursday over the New York Knicks. “I just want to be a decent role player on a really good team. Whatever my team needs: If that’s scoring, rebounding, passing the ball or just playing defense, that’s my job on this team. Those guys are always looking for me to be successful. Whenever you have teammates like that who have confidence in you, it’s very easy to have confidence in yourself.
“I think I’m Ok at scoring right now,” said Butler. “They give me the ball in incredible position and make it really easy for me; they’re good at driving and kicking and finding me to where I really don’t have to do too much. That’s what great teammates are all about. They see I’m in a rhythm and continue to do that for me. I’ve never been the best player on my team, never probably will be. But I’ve always been a hard worker, a guy who doesn’t give up on himself, who has the most confidence in himself. Now I play for the Chicago Bulls.”
“You can’t say enough about it him,” said (Tom) Thibodeau in his usual preface for Butler. “He takes big shots, plays defense, gets to the line. He makes plays, plays unselfishly, plays hard, doesn’t not take any possessions off. Just having a phenomenal year. My thing to him is why put a lid on it? Where can it go; I don’t know? All I know is it keeps going up. That is how I want him to approach it. He brings great concentration and great effort every day. You bring those things, couple that with his talent, great things are going to happen and he’s showing that. The best leadership you can have is by doing all the right things. You can’t put any more into than he’s putting into it now. When you look at our season with Joakim (Noah) being out for a good chunk of it, Taj (Gibson) being out for a good chunk of it, Derrick (Rose) being out for a good chunk of it, thankfully he’s played that way; same with Pau (Gasol). That’s really carried us. And Aaron Brooks and Niko (Nikola Mirotić) off the bench have been a huge bonus for us. […] “Jimmy is very versatile,” noted Thibodeau. “He’s a power guard; he can go off the dribble, post him, pick and roll with him, catch and shoot with him. He’s real smart. You can run offense with him; he can handle the ball. There’s not much he can’t do and defensively he is great. He’s as good as it gets in this league. I leave anything out?”