Chicago Sun-Times

Butler bracing for the unknown

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You rarely hear Jimmy Butler's name in discussion about ways the Bulls can improve at off-guard. Not much is expected from the 30th overall draft pick, granted, and it's unlikely the former Marquette standout will make a significant impact this season, but give him this: He's got the right attitude.

And he's honest.

"I have no idea what I'm getting myself into," Butler said.

You can't blame a rookie for feeling overwhelmed after the lockout-extended offseason prevented him from participating in rookie leagues and meeting his new teammates. He's playing catch-up this week. He spent part of Tuesday getting to know Ronnie Brewer and Keith Bogans while working out at the Berto Center.

"I was here working out a little bit before the lockout started," Butler said. "They told me to stay in shape and be ready and pay attention to a lot of different things and mostly work out and do what I've been doing. Get better, obviously. I know that. They gave me some things to work on but at the same time [they said] stick with the things that got me to this point."

Butler is a guard/forward who had a well-earned reputation as a pesky defender at Marquette. He could eventually be an option to cover LeBron James in the playoffs but that lofty goal is far from his mind as he prepares for training camp to open on Friday.

"My expectations are to play hard and win," he said. "I'm not a big self guy, never have been, never will be. At the end of the day, the team is the only thing that matters."

If the NBA's lockout-shortened, 66-game schedule looks daunting to NBA veterans, imagine what it must look like to rookies. Butler said that while his youth might help him recover after games, he's still working hard to prepare himself for the gauntlet to come.

"It is and sometimes it isn't," he said when asked if his youth was an advantage. "I'm young, so I guess I think I can do all this and all that but at the same time they have been through this and they know what it takes as far as getting in the cold tub and getting in the hot tub and do this and do that. I don't know anything about that. I know they are going to help me but in college you play two games a week --- tops. I can skip out on a cold tub here and there. I don't think I can do that at this level anymore."

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on December 7, 2011 12:15 PM.

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