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CHICAGO BULLS VIDEOS

November 26, 2014 Updates

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has a come up with a proposal to level the playing field between the NBA's two conferences. Cuban suggests a conference realignment that would result in a total of eight teams, including the Mavs, switching conferences. In Cuban's plan, the Mavs, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans would move to the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks would move to the West. "It's not like it'd be the first time we've ever realigned," Cuban said. "It's happened many times before, so there's precedent and I just think it shakes things up and makes things interesting." ESPN.com

"It's not like you're reducing competition," said Cuban, who noted that the teams he suggested moving to the West are approximately the same distance from Portland as Dallas and closer than New Orleans, San Antonio and Houston. "You keep Cleveland, Washington and other good teams in the East. It kind of shakes things up in terms of not just interest but also in terms of how people rebuild. "It just changes things up and it changes the thought process of a lot of teams. It makes both conferences very competitive, at least for the short-term and I think, based on the history of the teams, for the long-term as well." ESPN.com

"He's been incredible," said Thibodeau, whose Bulls lost 114-109 to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. "He's a star, and he does it on both ends of the floor. He's just an amazing player. We've had him play the point, we've had him play the 2, the 3, and tonight he played the 4. And he hasn't had any opportunity to practice the 4. So he just got out there, he's smart, he's tough, he does whatever the team needs, and he found a way to help lead us into coming back and having a shot at the end." ESPN.com

Although the 25-year-old continues to put up All-Star-type numbers, he doesn't want any part of the star label. "I'm not a star," Butler said. "I'm a good role player on a really, really good team. A really, really deep team. I like role players. 'Star' has never been next to Jimmy Butler's name, it never will be. I'll always be just an under-the-radar dog." ESPN.com

Returning from two years of knee injuries, such ancillary injuries are expected to be part of the process. Perhaps frustrating, they need to be dealt with in a rational and not emotional manner. It seemed at halftime Thibodeau understood that. “It was really nothing that happened,” Thibodeau said after the game. “Other than I didn’t want to take any chances with him. The way the game was going, the way we were going, I just felt at that point I wanted to go a different way. He’s didn’t reinjure himself or anything like that. I just didn’t want to take a chance. We’ve got a couple of days now, regroup and the way they were playing, the way we were playing I wanted to see if we could change it with a different type of ball pressure. I knew the start of the third quarter (with the Bulls trailing 56-49 at halftime), the defensive transition and the speed of the game (needed to increase). That was my big concern and I didn’t want to take a chance there. That’s basically it.” Bulls.com

November 25, 2014 Updates

Nick Friedell: Thibs says Noah is out knee/eye. Hinrich is in. Gibson still in Chicago and Thibs says he's still day to day. Rose and Gasol will play. Twitter @NickFriedell

Butler, 25, is earning $2 million in the fourth year of his rookie contract. Back in October, he declined a rookie-extension offer worth at least $40 million over four years. He delayed his eight-figure gratification even though he spent years in high school without a permanent home, making due on a day-to-day, hand-to-mouth, couch-to-couch basis. Butler admits that it was “hard” to pass on the extension and jokes that his first reaction, when presented with the offer's terms, was: “Bet! We’re good!” Upon further reflection, and advice from his agent Happy Walters, Butler decided to play out this season and test his earning potential next summer, when he will become a restricted free agent. Sports Illustrated

“The world knows I love Chicago. This is where I want to be,” Butler said. “I think this is where I’m going to be. After last year, everyone was like, ‘He’s not this. He’s not that.’ I knew better. I wanted to prove to myself that last year wasn’t me.” Sports Illustrated

Asked if he has heard the growing social media buzz that that he might receive a max-type contract offer next summer, a la Klay Thompson, Butler nods and accepts the idea as both a challenge and an opportunity. “Why not have a [max contract] be a goal? When I hear ‘max player’ I just think about being able to take my family to Bora Bora or something, going on a nice vacation. Because I don’t really pay attention to the money,” Butler said. “I just love the game of basketball. As long as I’m happy and it’s my job, I’m good. Money has never been too much of a thing for me. I grew up without it. I can manage with the amount of money I have now.” Sports Illustrated

November 24, 2014 Updates
November 23, 2014 Updates

As for Butler's mindset after not getting an extension deal done with the Bulls, he shook his head when asked if there's any lingering resentment. "Nah, nah," said Butler, who will be a restricted free agent next summer. "I love the city of Chicago. I think everybody knows that. I just feel like I've just got to help win games, man. I want a championship. The money has never been an issue because I'm from Tomball. The money I make now is more than nothing. I just wanted to prove to my teammates, to my coaches, to the city, that I'm here to stay." USA Today Sports

The Chicago Tribune reports from Bulls practice that forward Taj Gibson was sent home from practice after suffering an ankle injury over the weekend. But the good news is that Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol, who have been out for over a week with injuries, did practice, which means they could return to action for the Bulls' Monday-Tuesday back-to-back against Utah, and Denver, or at least one of the games. CBSSports.com

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