DENVER – Jimmy Butler was officially listed as questionable for the Friday game against the Denver Nuggets, but the All-Star will be smart about the soreness in his left knee.
Especially since he already lost a bet with his trainer.
Butler made a friendly wager with his personal trainers that he would play in all 82 regular-season games, and that ended Wednesday night when a knee-on-knee collision from Monday was still acting up.
A source did say that Butler felt better on Thursday, but was still receiving heavy treatment on the knee and would test it in the morning shootaround.
“It’s disappointing, but I’ve got to think big picture,’’ Butler said. “I’ve got to take care of my body. My trainer was here and he was like, ‘Look, you’ve got to do what’s right for your body.’ So I talked to the coaches and we thought it was best that to sit this one out.
“I love this game, and I love my teammates and want to go to war with them each and every day. Teammates were like, ‘Hey, be smart.’ Just being cautious.’’
The Bulls did win with Butler sidelined, but it also gave the guard a chance to sit back and watch what works with this group.
“How good we can be when that ball moves,’’ Butler said. “How good we can guard, rebound, take care of the ball for the most part. I’m happy we got this win. I think this was a good stepping stone for us. But we can’t have this win and then go play terrible. We’ve got to build on it and win two in-a-row, three in-a-row.’’
Yes, DeMarcus Cousins once again had a problem with the Bulls. For the past few years, Mike Dunleavy has ticked off the Kings big man. This time it was assistant coach Randy Brown.
Well, sort of.
Cousins approached the former guard after the win Wednesday, and had some choice words for Brown. One member of the Bulls said that Cousins thought Brown was talking trash to him from the bench, but “it wasn’t even him.’’
“Of course he’s going to pick a fight with the smallest guy on the bench,’’ one member of the Bulls said of Cousins.