Jimmy Butler once told his old head coach that he was soft and he didn’t like him: ‘Well then f—k you, Jimmy’

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Former NBA guard Michael Carter-Williams — who played alongside Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler on the Chicago Bulls during the 2016-17 campaign — looked back on an instance when Butler told former Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg that he was soft and not a fan of him.

The exchange happened during a team meeting amid some turmoil the Bulls were facing.

“Coach Hoiberg is like, ‘Jimmy, this starts with me and you. What’s goin’ on?'” Carter-Williams recalled. “And then Jimmy goes, ‘Well one, I think you’re soft. Two, I don’t like you.’ And he didn’t even get to three, and Coach Hoiberg was like, ‘Well then f— you, Jimmy.’ And Jimmy’s like, ‘Ah, it’s f— me now. You wanted to know what I — you wanted to know how I felt.'”

Carter-Williams started in 19 of the 45 games he played with the Bulls during the 2016-17 regular season and averaged 6.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.8 steals per contest.

Led by a trio of Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade, the Bulls finished the regular season with a mediocre 41-41 record and earned the right to face off against Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics — who finished as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference — in the opening round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

For a little while, it seemed as if Butler, Carter-Williams and the Bulls were going to pull off the improbable and eliminate the No. 1 seed in the first round as the No. 8 seed. The Bulls won the first two games of the series on the road at TD Garden, including Game 2 by a whopping 14 points.

But Rondo — who averaged 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 10.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game across the opening two games of the series — missed the remainder of the first round after suffering a thumb injury, and the Bulls went on to lose the first-round matchup in six games.

Butler played in every game of the series and averaged 22.7 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting from the field to go along with 7.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.

The 2016-17 season marked Butler’s last in Chicago, as he spent the 2017-18 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. The Bulls traded Butler to Minnesota and received Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and a draft pick which became big man Lauri Markkanen in return.

Carter-Williams’ Butler story suggests that even in the earlier days of the 34-year-old’s NBA career, he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and reveal how he felt, even if his opinions ruffled some feathers.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.