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updated: 12/13/2011 6:55 PM

Bulls rookie Butler trying not to act like lone newcomer

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  • Bulls guard Jimmy Butler

    Bulls guard Jimmy Butler
    Associated Press


It's been tough for Bulls rookie Jimmy Butler, a defensive-minded small forward from Marquette, to blend into the crowd.

Of the 12 players at training camp, he's the only newcomer.

"I don't think they look at me as a newcomer," Butler said. "Maybe off the court, yeah, that rookie hazing. But on the court, I've got to bring it every day just like everybody else does. If I mess up, they're going to get on me just like they get on that next guy.

"Rookie has nothing to do with it when I'm out there on the floor. I know how to play basketball, so all I've got to do is learn the plays and everything else is playing ball."

New teammate Carlos Boozer gave Butler a nice plug after Tuesday's morning practice at the Berto Center.

"Jimmy's a hard worker," Boozer said. "I'm an early bird. I get to the gym early, always an hour-and-a half, two hours before practice starts and he's here before me, which is very impressive."

That doesn't mean Boozer and the other veterans are going to ignore Butler's status as an NBA rookie.

"Right now, he'll get doughnuts, he'll get the bags," Boozer added. "The same stuff everyone else went through. We aren't going to punish him too much. We've got a young squad, but we're close like brothers.

"Don't worry, we've got some stuff up our sleeves. We've got a couple of pink backpacks he might have to rock around. We'll see what we can do for him; make his rookie year memorable."

Butler left alone:

Most NBA rookies spend most of the summer getting to know their coaches and have at least a few weeks to bond with new teammates.

Bulls first-round draft pick Jimmy Butler basically got none of that thanks to the lockout.

"I met up with Derrick (Rose) a few times," he said. "When I was in Vegas, I caught up with C.J. (Watson), things like that. Right after I got drafted, a lot of them weren't here, so I didn't get to exchange numbers. Now that I'm here, I've got to get with everybody."

Day and night:

Coach Tom Thibodeau planned to run the Bulls through two practices on Tuesday and Wednesday, but vowed the workouts would be vastly different.

"The morning session is pretty intense," he said. "The evening session is more cleaning things up, making corrections, watching some film. It's more of a mental practice than a physical practice."

Ready for Rip:

Now that Richard Hamilton was officially released by Detroit on Monday, coach Tom Thibodeau was willing to share a few thoughts on the Bulls' expected new addition.

"He's been a talented player in the league for a long time," he said. "He's been around, has great experience. I know when we played against him, he was hard to guard."

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