Gators give Noah bragging rights on Butler

March, 23, 2012
3/23/12
10:18
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill -- Jimmy Butler knew what was coming.

[+] EnlargeJoakim Noah
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesJoakim Noah's Florida Gators gave him plenty to cheer about on Thursday night.

After spending so much time talking about his beloved Marquette basketball team over the past few weeks, the proud alum knew what he was in for after the Golden Eagles' lost to Joakim Noah's Florida Gators in the NCAA Tournament Friday night.

"I knew I was going to hear it this morning," Butler said after Friday's practice. "I didn't know as soon as I walked into the door everybody was going to give it to me this morning."

The easy-going rookie tried to take it in stride, though. He actually spent Thursday night watching the game at Noah's house with teammates Ronnie Brewer and John Lucas III. The trash talk was, needless to say, abundant.

"It was tough," Butler said. "They play hard, they were making their shots ... it didn't help that I had Jo in my ear, in my face, doing his pistols when he didn't make any shots. But I guess that's what we got here."

For Noah, the loquacious Florida alum loved the fact that his old team was able to pull out the win.

"It's great, man," Noah said. "Really proud of the Gators. It was a great team effort, [Thursday]. I watched the game with Jimmy. I've never seen a guy with such an emotional ... his ups and downs [Thursday] were unbelievable. I was trying to stay steady, focused on the game. He was distraught after the game and I let him know about it ... We're family, but it was definitely tough for Little Jimmy [Thursday]."

Noah acknowledged that there was some kind of wager on the game, but he wasn't spilling on what was won, or in Butler's case, lost.

"It's more than just the wagers," Noah said. "Especially for Jimmy. He played with those guys so not being able to be there, in the fire, I'm sure that's tough. But being an old Gator boy, I just want to say I'm very proud of those young guys. They played their hearts out and made an old Gator very proud."




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