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CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler said on Monday that he doesn't regret the critical comments he made of first-year coach Fred Hoiberg following a loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday.
"(I was) a little frustrated after a loss, yeah, but then again, I put a lot of it on myself now because I have to lead better," Butler said before the Bulls hosted the Brooklyn Nets.
Following the 107-91 loss on the road to the Knicks — which came a day after a home loss to the Detroit Pistons in four overtimes — Butler said:
"I believe in the guys in this locker room, but I also believe that we probably have to be coached a lot harder at times. I'm sorry, I know Fred's a laid-back guy, and I really respect him for that, but when guys aren't doing what they're supposed to do, you've got to get on guys — myself included."
Butler and Hoiberg met on Sunday to discuss the comments. Hoiberg was asked Monday if he needed to be harder on the team.
"It's a great question," the coach said. "Are there some things I can do better? Sure. Are there things that all of us can do better? Absolutely. Are there some things I need to demand probably a little bit more? Sure.
"But it's something where I thought we made a lot of progress as a team."
Hoiberg's style is a sharp contrast to that of former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, the only coach Butler played for during his previous four NBA seasons.
When asked if he can make things work with Hoiberg, Butler, who is in the first year of a five-year, $90 million contract, said:
"I think so. We're going to be here, so I think we have to make it work. We have to make it work within this team, and I know that we will."
Butler said he may have been mistaken to air his feelings publicly and that he's adjusting to being a leader on the team.
"I've never been in this position before in my life," he said. "Not high school, not junior college and not here. So I'm learning."