The Chicago Bulls managed to hit a new low on Wednesday night as they blew a 10-point lead over the final three minutes of their game against the Atlanta Hawks, and several of their biggest stars expressed their anger at the team’s effort over the closing minutes.
One of those stars was forward Jimmy Butler, who scored 40 points in the defeat, and he lambasted his teammates for their lack of effort.
“We don’t play hard enough,” Butler said. “This is your job. I want to play with guys that care.”
Butler’s sentiments were echoed by Dwyane Wade, who made waves earlier this week when he wouldn’t rule out opting out of his contract at the end of the season. Wade was also highly critical of his teammates, and he didn’t mince words when talking with reporters at the end of the game.
“It just doesn’t mean enough to guys around here, and it p----- me off,” he said. “I’ve never had that problem (of not caring enough). They have to figure that out as individuals. Guys gotta look at themselves in the mirror, (and ask) are you putting everything into this for your teammates and yourself? I would say no.”
Wade went even further than that, challenging his teammates to play for more than their status as an NBA player or for their paycheck.
“You’ve got to want to do something besides have an NBA jersey on and make some money,” Wade said. “That’s all we’re doing in there right now.”
The Bulls, who had lost their last six games to the Hawks heading into Wednesday’s tilt, had a 10-point lead with about three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for them, they allowed the Hawks to go on a 19-2 scoring run, and by the time the Hawks were done, the Bulls had coughed up a golden chance to climb in the Eastern Conference standings.