Butler brushes off Rookie/Sophomore snub

January, 30, 2013
1/30/13
8:02
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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MILWAUKEE -- Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler did not get selected for the Rookie/Sophomore game over All-Star Weekend, but he is trying not to let that get him down. He said he would let the snub roll right off his back.

"I let it fall off," Butler said before Wednesday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks. "I don't look at things like that because I feel like that's more of an individual thing. Kudos to those guys because they're great players and they're really talented, but I love this team and I want to play along with these guys. And I'll do whatever it takes for this team to win. I'm a competitor; would I have (liked) to compete in that game? Of course. But I'm a Bulls player to tell you the truth."

Butler is in the midst of his best stretch as a Bull. He took over for Luol Deng several weeks ago when Deng went out because of a hamstring injury and averaged close to 15 points and eight rebounds a game. He scored a career high 19 points off the bench in Monday night's win over the Bobcats and insists that he is not disappointed by the fact he won't be headed to Houston to play in the game.

"Not at all," he said. "I feel like I'm a part of this team. It would have been fun, but I'm not worried about it. Just focused on the Bucks and the games that we have going forward."

That's exactly where Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau wants his mindset to be.

"That stuff, it shouldn't be a big deal," Thibodeau said. "Oftentimes those things are tough; there's a lot of deserving players. I think the important thing for Jimmy is to keep doing all the things he's been doing for our team and it really doesn't matter what other people think. I know how his teammates feel about him and certainly his coaches and that's what is really important. He's an important part of our team and we certainly appreciate all he does for us so that's the main thing. His play will do the talking for him."

Butler, a Marquette alum, was just happy to be back in the Bradley Center on Wednesday -- the same building in which he played his college ball.

"This is like a home away from home for me," Butler said. "It's great to see familiar faces out there in the stands as I'm walking to the court, those are the same people that showed me so much love when I was here in the blue and gold. It was good to shake their hands and hug them and let them know that I'm fans of them for everything they do for us while I was at Marquette, just like they're fans of me now."

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
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.6 3.4 1.5 40.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.5
AssistsD. Rose 5.0
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0