DEERFIELD, Ill. — Amongst other players, Jimmy Butler developed a close friendship with former teammate Nate Robinson, a one-year sensation in Chicago last season, who moved on to Denver as a free agent. Now he makes his United Center return Friday night as a member of the Nuggets in the Bulls’ preseason finale.
“That’s my guy. I think we’re going to dinner tonight, actually,” Butler said after Thursday afternoon’s practice at the Berto Center. “So I get to see my man.”
When asked who would be paying for the meal, Butler quickly deferred to Robinson, the recipient of a reported two-year, $4-million contract over the summer.
“Nate,” Butler quipped. “I’m still on my rookie contract.”
“I don’t even know if he’s playing, but I’ll have to yell to him on the bench,” he continued. “You know [Robinson will be talking trash]. You know it’s coming.”
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau might not be hanging out with Robinson, but was appreciative of the guard’s contributions, especially his memorable postseason performances, which made him a fan favorite in Chicago.
“Had a big year for us. We were in an unusual situation,” Thibodeau said. “He came in, provided a spark for our team. Did a good job.”