The relationship between the Chicago Bulls and their star player Jimmy Butler has always seemed a bit off. The front office doesn’t treat him like the franchise cornerstone he appears to be, and he doesn’t always seem 100 percent excited to be in Chicago.
Now, we’re getting an idea of why. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times, Butler and several other Bulls players feel the front office is spying on them in the locker room.
Butler, as well as several other Bulls players, have also had issues with the “spying’’ that goes on in the locker room, with Butler warning new players that if they didn’t want Forman to hear criticism, don’t talk in front of certain assistant coaches like Randy Brown.
“The belief is that the Bulls love to gather as much ammunition as they can on players, so they can win the press conference when the break-up comes, whether it’s a trade or free agency.
“They did it with Lu [Luol Deng], they did it with Jo [Noah] and Derrick [Rose],” a source said. “That’s how they operate.”
This comes after ESPN personality Ryen Russillo told a story on air alleging that in 2014 the Chicago front office threatened to bench Butler in favor of former Bulls guard Tony Snell unless he accepted a four-year, $44 million contract extension. Cowley explains that Butler’s distrust of the organization runs much deeper than that.
It’s certainly starting to feel like there will be major changes in Chicago sooner rather than later. If these accusations are accurate, it would be strange to see Butler back along with Bulls executives Gar Forman and John Paxson.
It seems like it’s time for turnover in the front office, or for Butler to play somewhere else, especially after a messy, drama-filled season in Chicago which only seems to be getting worse.