The Bulls saw their season go off the rails last year for a variety of reasons, but one of them was a lack of locker-room leadership. During the first few days of training camp this week, new additions Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade are making sure that won’t be a problem with this year’s squad.
Barring a resurgence from Wade, Jimmy Butler is the best player in Chicago. Butler attempted to grow into his leadership role last season, but he wasn’t consistent enough with it in order for him to get his teammates to buy in 100 percent. He’s been there only a short time, but Rondo has already pulled Butler aside and given him some valuable advice.
“A leader can’t pick and choose when he wants to lead,” Rondo said, via the team’s website. “He has to come out every day, every practice; we’re having two a days. If you are down, you need something to get your head right, you have to bring it every day, every day.”
Wade had an even stronger statement after surveying the players over last year’s events.
“You ask the guys that were here last year, how rotten it was,’’ Wade said, via the Chicago Sun Times. “You want to hear from their perspective, whatever it was last year from the standpoint of losing. You don’t do that. I come from a different place and a different culture. Things are done differently different places. So I sat down and listened to guys.
“But the thing is, some of the things they talked about I know are not going to take place. Not while I’m here, not while [Rajon] Rondo’s here, not while Jimmy [Butler] continues to grow as a leader. You talk about last year, but at the same time, last year doesn’t matter. We have a different core, and I think our culture is fairly different. We have guys now, Rondo’s won a championship, I’ve won championships, we demand respect on the court.’’
There are plenty of questions surrounding this year’s Bulls team. But it appears as though the one about veteran leadership has already been answered.