Every week there seems to be some rumor of some kind involving the Chicago Bulls and ever-so-slightly, it’s starting to wear on Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg.
Whether it’s the combination of Hoiberg having to face questions about his job security several days ago or the latest one to hit the mill — a report about the Bulls listening to offers about Jimmy Butler — he broke the veneer he’s so carefully crafted since his arrival in Chicago.
“No. I’m not going to comment on the rumors,” Hoiberg said.
When asked if he was surprised, Hoiberg deviated from his usual tactic of cracking a quick joke to break the ice and seemed annoyed he has to address something seemingly every week.
“No, I’m not. I’m not surprised at all,” Hoiberg said. “Because that’s the world that we live in, unfortunately.”
He admitted the totality of it all can wear on someone or even his team, but insisted he won’t allow it to.
“It is what it is. It’s the world that we live in,” Hoiberg said. “You try to stay away from it as much as possible. Keep your head down, keep working. Again, I think we’ve made significant progress these last couple of weeks as a basketball team, winning four of six and having some really good wins in that stretch.”
Dwyane Wade believes it’s the market of Chicago that leads to such daily and weekly controversy.
“It's a big market. It's the Bulls. Our best player is in a rumor right now,” Wade said. “It doesn't matter. It's been a rumor every week but nothing has happened. It's a big market, something to talk about. A couple extra hits. It's the way the world works, the world we're in. Someone decided to write something with no merit. And if it does have merit, way to be first in line for the scoop.”
Dwyane Wade joked he’s never been involved in a trade rumor and stated there’s a few untouchables around the NBA.
“James Harden don't have a price, Russell Westbrook don't have a price, LeBron James don't have a price. Steph Curry don't…,” Wade said. “There's certain guys at this point, this moment, don't have a price. At some point, everybody got a price and depending on when. Dwyane Wade didn't have a price at one point.”
He didn’t forget his teammate, the guy who scored 52 one night and closed out the Cavaliers two nights later with a 14-point fourth quarter.
“In my mind, he doesn't. I think he's the cornerstone of this franchise,” Wade said. “He's the reason I'm here. The reason we're winning games, Not in my mind but it's not my decision.”
Although the two are obviously close and Wade being much more experienced than Butler, he said he wouldn’t give the rumors life by talking to his teammate about it.
“For what? Who wrote an article? Somebody wrote an article? Who cares. Like I said, you can control what you can control,” Wade said. “You can’t control somebody waking up one day and wanting to stir something up in Chicago and write an article.”
It’s the two-way street of the NBA, he believes.
“The only thing you can do is bring your butt in here and work, and if they call you and say, ‘Hey, you’ve been moved.’ Shake their hand and you say, ‘Thank you for everything,’ and you leave,” Wade said. “I always told my teammates, because you never know what’s going to happen in this league, you never know where you’re going to be, stay professional. Just like you have your opportunities in free agency and stuff like that to decide where you want to go, they have opportunities to move you. There’s nothing you can do about it. So don’t listen to it. It’s the time of the year where everybody’s name is being thrown in a hat, and most of it don’t even happen.’’
With the rumors being so prevalent from one thing to another, Hoiberg said he discusses it with his team at times.
“We talk a little but about it, but we don't spend a lot of time talking about it. But yeah, there are moments,” he said. “I'll say this. Going back to my days in the front office, you're always talking to other teams, you're always making calls. You talk about your roster, People throw things against the wall all the time.”
Hoiberg was an assistant GM with the Timberwolves for a short time before going to the college ranks at Iowa State.
“I was a guy that made a lot of calls. So you do that stuff all the time,” he said. “You do your due diligence on other teams and rosters and throw things out there; 99 percent of them have no legs and you move on, but that is the job. You do call every other team in the league and you talk. That's what that job's about.”