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'Chicago, what can I say?' Butler bids classy farewell to Bulls fans

Jimmy Butler's farewell to Bulls fans helps to explain why people in Chicago will miss him for more than what he did as a basketball player.

It resembles the feeling that some in the Twin Cities will be expressing about Zach LaVine, who became part of the community for more than playing basketball. LaVine learned sign language when he was in high school and created a special relationship with the Metro Deaf School in St. Paul -- a relationship that went beyond the money he donated so the school could add a kitchen to serve its 100 students.

Here's the story that basketball writer Jerry Zgoda wrote at the time.

Back to Butler. This is what he posted Friday afternoon on Instagram:

 

Chicago, What can I say?! I truly struggle with the words because you've been so much more than just my home for the last 6 years, you've been my life! You've embraced me like a son and pushed me to get better every day, every season. I can honestly say that I have always been incredibly motivated to succeed; it's just the way I'm built. But I know I owe so much to the person I am now, and to the player that I've become, to you. You always pushed me to never give anything less than my absolute best night in, night out. That's what you expected. That's what you deserved. And, I hope you know that's what I dedicated my life to every time I walked into the facility or stepped on the floor of the United Center. Thank you to the entire Bulls organization and Reinsdorf Family for taking a chance on me in 2011 and for giving me the opportunity to play the sport I love for such a great franchise. I'll never forget the feeling I had when I was drafted and when I played my first minutes. It's an experience that I wouldn't have wanted with any other team and I'm so thankful to you for giving me that opportunity. Chicago, I love you. Thanks for embracing a kid from Tomball like one of your own. On to a new home and a new organization. Thankfully, with some familiar faces! PS... AND PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT! THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY BEHIND THE ORGANIZATION THAT DO NOT GET THE SHINE THAT THEY DESERVE!! YALL ARE THE REAL ALL-STARS!! - Jimmy G. Buckets (@staceyking21 )

A post shared by Jimmy Butler (@jimmybutler) on


 

'I'm moving to Minnesota.' Video reaction to Wolves' Jimmy Butler trade

Of all the moves that were made Thursday night, the Timberwolves took center stage with the trade that's bringing Jimmy Butler to Minnesota in exchange for Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, as well as the swap of draft picks that led to the Wolves taking Justin Patton with the 16th overall pick.

It didn't take long for experts -- and others -- to offer their assessments.

In Chicago, fans were flummoxed, including the guy who quipped that he's "moving to Minnesota" and referred to "Mr. Butler" in his reaction.

ESPN's Tom Penn explained why the Bulls made the deal, and has an interesting note about guard Dwyane Wade.

David Aldridge broke down the deal for NBA TV.

If you're a serious NBA 2K player, you probably know of the e-gamer Chris Smoove. "This is a great trade -- for the Timberwolves." (If you're skeptical about his following, go to YouTube and check on the number of times this video has been watched. End of that discussion.)

On ESPN this morning, the Mike & Mike show broke down the deal with columnist Sarah Spain, and talked about the difference between playing for Fred Hoiberg and Tom Thibodeau.