By Cody Westerlund–
CHICAGO (CBS) — As part of their punishment for criticizing teammates after Wednesday’s loss, Bulls stars Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade won’t start Friday evening’s game against the Heat, coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Doug McDermott and Paul Zipser will start in their place.
“Just based on what happened the other night, we felt it was appropriate to make the change,” Hoiberg said. “Those guys will both still play. We’ve spoken to both of them about it. They understand, and we’re going to move forward.”
Hoiberg indicated the decision was his alone and responded “no — this was the decision we decided to make” when asked if there was conversation about suspending Butler and Wade.
Butler (24.9 points per game) and Wade (19.1) are Chicago’s two leading scorers.
After blowing a 10-point lead with less than three minutes left against the Hawks on Wednesday, both Butler and Wade called out their young teammates.
“Mother ******* just got to care if we win or lose,” Butler said.
Added Wade: “I don’t know if I see enough guys who really, really want it.”
Late Thursday afternoon, guard Rajon Rondo backed those younger Bulls and their work ethic by responding on his Instagram account with a lengthy post that included criticism of the style of leadership Butler and Wade were displaying.
Rondo is the team’s second-unit point guard and will remain in that role Friday, Hoiberg said.
Rondo has confirmed he was fined for his public criticism, and Butler and Wade are understood to have been fined too, though they didn’t confirm that.
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. He’s also the co-host of the @LockedOnBulls podcast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.