Months after Jimmy Butler called for coach Fred Hoiberg to be harder on the team, he appears to have finally gotten his wish.
With the Bulls currently clinging to the final playoff spot in the East, Taj Gibson said Tuesday’s practice got a little heated.
Unlike former coach Tom Thibodeau, the mild-mannered Hoiberg is rarely seen showing much emotion from the bench and is the only NBA coach not to have received a technical foul this season. In fact, in his more-than-600 career games as an NBA player and coach, Hoiberg has never been T’d up.
Hoiberg did receive a pair of technicals as coach at Iowa State.
Butler’s comments about the coach came during the midst of a three-game losing streak back in December.
“I believe in the guys in this locker room, yeah,’’ Butler said. “But I also believe that we probably have to be coached a lot harder at times. I’m sorry, I know that Fred’s a laid-back guy, and I really respect him for that. But when guys aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, you gotta get on guys, myself included. You gotta do what you’re supposed to do when you’re out there playing basketball.”
Chicago has now won two consecutive games after previously losing seven of its past eight, doing so without the help of Butler, Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic.
And they might be without Pau Gasol Wednesday against Washington. The big man is reportedly battling flu-like symptoms.
Up next is a stretch of games against four teams in playoff position in seven nights.
Kobe Bryant’s 15 games at the United Center
Stats via Basketball-Reference