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Jimmy Butler leadering the heck out of this lottery team

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Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of this horrible season, it's been tough not to notice the change in Jimmy Butler's outspokenness. The head-shaking quotes all year have sounded like someone who's trying to sound like a superstar after he spent the summer listening to NBA stars of the past on tape. Convincing himself maybe more than he's convincing anybody else.

Our own Jason Patt has deemed him a 'corny diva', and I've submitted an artist's rendering to his nightly watch:


And Jimmy was in rare form after the Bulls in their meaningless win over the Pelicans on Monday. A game he shouldn't have even been playing in as to not risk re-injury.

Butler says he never doubted that he was going to play in this game, despite the fact that the Bulls' season was essentially over.

"Nobody can make me do anything," Butler said. "I'm a grown man, first and foremost. But no, I wanted to play. That's that."

When asked why he decided to come back into the game with 6:04 left in regulation, Butler didn't hesitate with his own response.

"For the fans, man," he said. "There was a kid here from Tomball [Texas], that I went to high school with. I gave him my jersey after the game. I think that's a big reason in why I do what I do. I don't want anybody to ever think that I'm quitting on my team, because I'm not. I'm not saying Pau [Gasol] or Derrick [Rose] is, either. That's not what I'm saying. But I love this game and I'm fortunate to play it each and every day. So if I can go out there and compete, that's what I'm going to do."

OK, man. Butler insisted he wasn't throwing any shade at Derrick Rose, but...

The D-League replacements playing for the Pelicans confirmed this in Butler's mind, no doubt. Even beyond the court, Butler is providing a healthy rival for #DerrickRoseSaysStuff. #JimmyButlerCornyWatch ?

The Bulls do, nominally, have a head coach. Let's check in on him.

Even Hoiberg acknowledged that he had some second thoughts after inserting Butler back into the contest.

"Yeah, there was," Hoiberg admitted. "But he wanted back in and he wanted to go back in in a big way and he kept looking at me. So I caved. I caved. I put him back in."

Cool, cool.