The marriage started the way so many everlasting unions…

The marriage started the way so many everlasting unions do. “We couldn’t stand each other,” Butler says. It was December 2011, and Thibodeau had a lot on his mind: Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, a lockout-condensed schedule and Miami’s Big Three. Butler, the last pick of the first round, was not a priority. At practice, Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin would tell Butler to make 20 corner threes and the rookie would bristle: “Why? It won’t matter, anyway. Thibs doesn’t want me here. I’m not going to play tomorrow. I’m not going to play the game after that. I’m not going to play 10 games after that.” He was sure he’d spend the next decade in Turkey. At halftime Butler would trail Griffin to the locker room and plead, “Talk to Thibs! Tell him I’m ready!” Once, Griffin persuaded Thibodeau to put the rook in a game and call a pick-and-roll. Butler promptly turned the ball over. “See!” Thibodeau barked at Griffin. “I told you!”
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“If I didn’t play in the playoffs, I’d be OK,” Thomas says. “I’d be getting paid. I’d be who I am — who I was. But you couldn’t tell me in that moment in time — with everything I was going through — that, OK, I should just sit out. I don’t think Boston went about it the right way, as well. “But at the same time, it was hard for me to sit out. I just lost my sister, one of the closest people in my life. Basketball was the only thing that was going to help me out. I played until I literally couldn’t play anymore. And that was not a good business decision if I was looking in the long term, but I was looking in the ‘right now.’ That’s just what it was.
2 hours ago via ESPN
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