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Dwyane Wade clears the air and calls it ‘Jimmy Butler’s team’

Jimmy Butler can’t hide from it anymore.

The two-time All-Star has spent the last few weeks downplaying the idea that the Bulls are his team now that Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah have changed addresses, even getting frustrated with the persistent questions on that topic on Thursday.

“You’re not going to hype me up and put me into that one,’’ Butler insisted to one reporter.

Yet on Friday, he was put right back into that one, and all the “aw shucks, I’m just a kid from Tomball, Texas’’ talk wasn’t going to get that spotlight off of him.

That’s the star power of new Bulls guard Dwyane Wade, and it was on full display Friday afternoon, when the three-time NBA Champion was finally introduced to the Chicago media.

Sure, Wade’s wife Gabrielle Union held up the start of the press conference with a little Hollywood tardiness, and yes, Noah might call this new-look Bulls roster “Hollywood as hell: the sequel,’’ but considering this Bulls front office has been waiting more than a decade to actually land a big-name free agent rather than a series of consolation prizes, a lot could be overlooked.

What couldn’t be, however, was Wade clearing the air on all this talk about whose team it was.

“I think it’s Jerry Reinsdorf’s team,’’ Wade joked at first.

Then the 34-year-old former Chicago high school product told a very interesting story.

“It’s funny to be sitting in this seat,’’ Wade said. “I remember when Shaquille O’Neal came to Miami [in 2004]. Coming from the Lakers, three championships. Came to Miami, and we had no championships at the time. And I remember his press conference. I was playing in the Olympics at the time, like Jimmy is right now. I remember Shaq saying, ‘We’re not going to go through this all year.’ He said, ‘It’s Dwyane Wade’s team.’

“We’re not going to go through this all year. It’s Jimmy Butler’s team. Myself and [veteran point guard Rajon] Rondo are here to bring what we bring as athletes to this team and to this city. [Butler’s] the young bull on this team. He’s a 26-year-old who can play 40 minutes if coach [Fred Hoiberg] wants him to, and maybe more. I ain’t trying to do all that. And we’re going to depend on him a lot.’’

Wade then took it a step further, of course crediting the Bulls front office for the sell job they pitched to get him out of Miami after 13 seasons, but giving a big portion of the credit to Butler.

As the Sun-Times reported last month, Butler was front and center in not only recruiting Wade and Rondo, but any big-name free agent that would listen, including players that aren’t free agents until next season.

“As much as Gar [Forman] and John Paxson have done an amazing job making sure that this can happen, this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Jimmy Butler,’’ Wade said. “Jimmy called me and told me he wanted me here. That was huge because at the time I didn’t know.

“When you think about it, hometown kid Derrick Rose here, and he finally leaves. Noah, who is very known here, leaves. It’s now Jimmy’s team. So to want to bring in a guy like myself and Rondo, it shows what he’s about. He’s about winning.’’

Which Wade said he was also all about in making the move back to his hometown.

“This was a place I really wanted to be,’’ Wade said. “This was a place my heart really pulled me towards.’’