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Butler smiled through his brief postgame chat with reporters and said neither the turmoil nor the bench role affected his play. “Disengaged? Nah. It was a little different,” he said. “I was still into it. I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I still took the shots I always take. That’s fine. “I’ll be back. I promise. I’m not worried about it at all.
Nick Friedell: Butler says he will still go to “war” with Rondo. Says he’ll prepare the same way he always does.
Vincent Goodwill: Butler: it can go one or two ways. Get better and win or sit and lost. If we win its a good thing. If we lose it wasn’t
KC Johnson: Butler said he didn’t read Rondo’s post.
People who know Rondo believe he can still be a starter in Chicago, but it can’t be with the current group. “Rajon has to play with guys who are more suited to the way he plays,” one person close to him said. “If he’s with some shooters and some slashers, he’ll be fine. They’ll be fine. I think he and Butler can play together, and maybe Wade and Butler can play together. But he and Wade and Butler can’t play together.”
It’s tough to make hard and fast judgments from preseason games, but there is some serious doubt around the NBA regarding Chicago’s constellation of All-Stars. Adding Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to Jimmy Butler looks good on paper, but they will have to tweak their games to make the band sing in tune. “Rondo, Wade and Butler are all ball-stoppers,” an opposing executive said. “None of them are great cutters or guys that move without the ball. They’re all isolation-type players. They’re all very good players, but it doesn’t seem to be a good fit.”
KC Johnson: Jimmy Butler: “But I’m not going to take a step backward because I have new players on my team. I’m going to still be aggressive. I’ll still guard. I’ll have a voice in the locker room. I’ll say what needs to be said. What I want them guys to do whenever I’m on some bulls**t, I want them to tell me. I want you to say my name, man to man.”
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October 18, 2017 | 6:10 am EDT Update
What does LeBron James owe the city of Cleveland? “LeBron James owes nobody anything. Nobody. When my mother told me I don’t owe her anything, from that point in time, I don’t owe anybody anything. But what I will give to the city of Cleveland is passion, commitment, and inspiration. As long as I put that jersey on, that’s what I represent. That’s why I’m there—to inspire that city. But I don’t owe anybody anything.”
Veteran forward Richard Jefferson is signing a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Denver Nuggets. Jefferson confirmed the deal in a text message to The Vertical. “I picked Denver because I believe in what they are doing and building and believe I can add and contribute on and off the court to their nucleus in a positive way,” Jefferson told The Vertical.
Peter Vecsey: Contrary to counterfeit reports by ESPN and Yahoo, Bobby Portis did not “cheap shot” Nikola Mirotic at Bulls’ practice this afternoon, a source attests. Nonetheless, there is no denying it was a damaging one-punch knockdown. The Montenegro forward was taken to the hospital with a concussion and facial fractures that will require surgery, and is out indefinitely. Mirotic initiated the skirmish. “He was the aggressor, not Portis,” I am informed. “Mirotic shoved Portis twice, maybe three times. When Portis retaliated with a hard shove, Mirotic charged him. Portis put him down.”
LeBron James said the Cleveland fan base gave Kyrie Irving a pretty easy time during his first return trip to Quicken Loans Arena. “It was nothing,” James said. “That was nothing. What do you want me to say? I’ve experienced big boos before. That was like a pat on the back.