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Chicago Bulls stars Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler fined for critical comments

By The Sports Xchange  

New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony and Chicago Bulls Dwyane Wade smile on the court in the second half at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 12, 2017. The Knicks defeated the Bulls 106-89. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
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Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg and Dwyane Wade stand on the court in the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 12, 2017. The Knicks defeated the Bulls 106-89. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
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Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) scores by Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle (30) at Staples Center in Los Angeles, November 20, 2016. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI
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After a meeting to hash things out Friday afternoon, there don't appear to be any hard feelings between Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo in regards to airing the Chicago Bulls' dirty laundry in the media and on social media.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg and general manager Gar Forman apparently were not satisfied, however.
Wade and Butler were fined an undisclosed amount and did not start Friday's game against the Miami Heat.
The Bulls' two highest paid players questioned the team's commitment to winning in the media after they fell to 23-24 with Wednesday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks, despite getting 40 points from Butler and 33 from Wade.
"We were extremely disappointed that several players chose to speak out after our last game," Forman said. "You know, every team has issues. And it's our strong belief that when you have issues or critical comments, that you keep those issues or critical comments in-house, that it's not shared through (media), that it's shared through social media. It's not how want to operate. It is totally unacceptable, and we made it very clear to the players that were involved that it's unacceptable."
Rajon Rondo, already a bench player, was not fined after he criticized the team's veterans in an Instagram post on Thursday, which was brushed off by Wade and Butler after the meeting before Friday morning's shootaround.
"Everyone gets opportunities to express themselves," Wade said. "That's how (Rondo) chose to express himself. ... I have no hard feelings."
Butler expressed similar thoughts.
"I don't have any problem with Rajon," Butler said. "He spoke his mind. I spoke my mind. Move on."
Forman said he was "extremely disappointed" in players criticizing their teammates.
After the Bulls' 119-114 loss to the Hawks, Wade said, "I'm 35 years old, man. I've got three championships. It shouldn't hurt me more than it hurts these young guys. They have to want it. ... It has to change. It has to hurt inside to lose games like this."
Butler echoed his remarks, saying: "(Expletive teammates) just got to care if we win or lose. At the end of the day, do whatever it takes to help the team win. You play your role to the T. Be a star in your role, man."
Rondo, a four-time All-Star and member of the Boston Celtics' 2008 championship team, posted a picture of himself with former Boston teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett accompanied by pointed criticism of Wade and Butler's remarks.
Rondo did not mention either Wade or Butler in his Instagram response, but pointed to the behavior of Pierce and Garnett when the Celtics lost games.
"My vets would never go to the media," Rondo wrote. "They would come to the team. My vets didn't pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn't take days off.
"My vets didn't care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn't blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work."

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