Jimmy Butler Reportedly Doesn't Respect Derrick Rose's Work Ethic

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) and guard Jimmy Butler (21) against the  Philadelphia 76ers during an NBA basketball game Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Matt Marton/Associated Press

As Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose possibly starts the 2015-16 season on the bench due to another injury, his teammate Jimmy Butler is reportedly not thrilled with the former MVP's work ethic.   

That is according to an Oct. 7 report from Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, citing a source who is a former member of the Bulls:

According to the source, Butler considers Rose a friend, but “doesn’t have a lot of respect for his work ethic.’’ In Butler’s mind, Rose was considered the face of the franchise, and if the face of the franchise wasn’t busting his butt in practice every day, especially last season, what was the message to the rest of the team?

New Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is quoted in Cowley's report as praising Butler's work ethic, noting the 26-year-old has the same drive to be great that Hoiberg's former teammates, Kevin Garnett and Michael Jordan, had in their prime. 

"I love having Derrick as a teammate," Butler said on Thursday, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. "Just let us play together. I think we can be one of the best, if not best, backcourts in NBA."

There have been rumblings about tension brewing between Butler and Rose, dating back to the Bulls' Game 6 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 playoffs, according to Dan Bernstein of CBSChicago.com:

Sources describe a passive-aggressive reaction from Rose that was the culmination of tensions building in recent weeks with Butler’s emergence as a primary scorer. ... Butler’s emergence was validated by the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, and he’s now feeling every bit the star, with all that entails.

The Bulls certainly view Butler as a superstar and one of their leaders, signing him to a five-year, $90 million contract this past summer. Rose certainly has the talent to play at an elite, superstar level, but injuries have prevented him from getting there since the 2011-12 season. 

Rose has had his share of bad luck, including this year when he was struck in the face during practice by a teammate's elbow and suffered a left orbital fracture.

Butler wants to be the face of the franchise, and he has elevated his game to warrant that role. 

As long as both players are on the same page in trying to bring an NBA championship back to Chicago, this should be long forgotten if that goal is realized.

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