If Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler really do hate each other, the Bulls' two stars sure do a convincing job of getting people to believe otherwise.
In today's latest update on the feud that certain media outlets want you to believe exists: Rose bought Butler a super expensive watch this summer as a way to "honor and recognize Butler's breakout season."
Sounds like these guys can't stand each other!
So Rose gave his backcourt mate a designer watch with a price tag college-tuition-paying parents would recognize.
Rose is demonstratively sheepish, almost embarrassed, when asked about this gesture in a rare quiet moment. Typically, Rose's preferred path is to remain behind the scenes.
That preference gets interrupted often by the basketball skills that place him in the spotlight and injuries and occasional clumsy comments that draw scrutiny and scorn. But pressed further about why he did this, Rose suddenly turns stone-cold serious, bordering on emotional.
"I'm a veteran now. You're supposed to spoil your teammates. And Jimmy deserved it," Rose said in an interview with the Tribune. "That's just like me getting doughnuts for the plane and for the buses and for trips. Just trying to do something, let everyone know I'm in it to win it all. We have to have that bond."
But for real, I never completely dismissed reports of tension between Rose and Butler just because a) they're two hyper-competitive people, b) they had to learn how to co-exist on the fly while Rose was missing games and practices due to rest or injury. It would be natural if there was a little angst given Butler's rapid and unforeseen ascent, but the way certain outlets blew it out of proportion would lead you to believe the Bulls were unraveling because of it.
So much for that. Who buys someone they hate a $30K watch? I think the Bulls' backcourt is going to be just fine this year. The more time Jimmy and Derrick are together on the court this season, the better.