Jimmy Butler brings right rookie attitude

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
6:55
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Jimmy Butler didn't hesitate on Tuesday morning when asked whether the biggest difficulty as an NBA rookie was mental or physical.

"Definitely mental," the new Chicago Bulls guard said. "Physical also, but there's so much to learn and you have to know and you have to build on top of it each and every day. Mentally, it is mind-boggling, but physically it's a wear and tear. You've got to take care of your body like coach said, like my teammates said, take care of your body. So that's what I'm going to do now."

Butler knows he also must endure the rookie hazing that every player goes through in the early part of his career.

"I am a rookie," he said. "I hear you've got to do it. Might as well man up and do it, not fight it. They say if you fight it that makes it worse. As much as I don't want to do it, I'm looking forward to it."

So are his teammates.

"He'll get doughnuts, he'll get the bags," Carlos Boozer said. "We haven't had a road trip yet, the same stuff everybody else went to. We're not going to punish him too much because we've got a young squad and we're close like brothers. But don't worry, we've got some stuff up our sleeves. We got a couple of pink backpacks he might have to rock around. We'll see what we can do for him. Make his rookie year memorable."

While Butler may have to endure some hazing, he is also clearly making an impression on some of the veterans.

"I like Jimmy," Boozer said. "Jimmy's a hard worker. And I'm an early bird, I get to the gym mad early, always an hour and a half, two hours before practice starts and he's here before me which is very impressive. And he stays late. You can see him over there shooting jumpers right now. Good rookie, great mentality."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5