- David Zalubowski/AP
Following Rajon Rondo’s scathing Instagram criticizing Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler’s leadership, the Chicago Bulls did a solid job at diffusing the situation on Friday.
The Bulls had a long team meeting on Friday behind closed doors, and afterward, while speaking to reporters, tried their best to put the incident behind them.
Nobody did this better than Wade, who seemed to be blatantly called out by Rondo for taking off practices or resting on back-to-back games.
When asked about responding to Rondo’s Instagram, Wade had a great reaction (via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune):
“I could take that as a personal attack. But what’s that going to do for me? Come in and fight Rajon because he said his vets practiced every day? I’m 35. I’m not practicing every day. That’s very clear. Everyone has their own things. My vets did different things too. They were very successful with what they did in Boston.
“I took it as a human being expressing himself and feeling he wanted to say something regarding the young guys on the team and he felt it was portrayed different. And that’s his leadership. That’s his way of leading. Just like my way of leading is my way of leading when I come out here and I smile and say all these positive things. And when I come in and say I’m pissed off, that’s my way of leading at that time.
“It’s not always what people want to hear or a popular thing. I told [GM] Gar [Forman] and [Vice President John] Paxson that I respect their decision to do the things they did because it’s their organization. It is right. A lot of things should be kept inside. But sometimes in the frustrating moments, you say things you feel in that moment. That’s what I did. That’s what Jimmy did. We take our punishment and move on and try to be better.”
On Friday, Rondo confirmed that the players who spoke out were fined by the team.
Rondo stood by his post, saying he wanted to express himself and that it wasn’t done out of anger. He said the post was meant to defend younger players on the team who he believes work hard. However, he said the meeting was important for players to express themselves.
“The young guys got to say what they wanted to say today, and that’s the biggest thing. We spoke as a team. A lot of guys that don’t have much to say or don’t have as big a voice, everyone had the same platform this morning and we got to talk it out.”
At 23-24, the Bulls are currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Tensions had been bubbling with this team for awhile, and it remains to be seen if after this blow-up the team actually will be able to move forward. In the meantime, however, it seems everyone did a good job at trying to let the incident blow over.