Jimmy Butler has established himself as one of the best players in the NBA with consistent performances every night, and he is happy to have some consistent help in the backcourt this season.
Though the Chicago Bulls are off to a sluggish 14-13 start, which is good for just third in the Central Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, they have displayed better vision and chemistry than when Derrick Rose was leading the offense.
Butler says the addition of Dwyane Wade from the Miami Heat is a big reason why.
"He's been amazing. He's been great," Butler said of Wade during a conference call on Tuesday. "You watch the way he goes about everything on and off the floor and there's no question why he is the type of player he is, why he's been to so many All-Star games, All-NBA teams, won championships, you just feel it in that presence of him being around.
"And then you see the way he is off the floor and what he does in his community and his city and how he is with his family. He's just a great human being. Everybody knows the person and the basketball player he is but off the floor the human being he is and the love he gives everybody, that's what makes Dwyane Wade Dwyane Wade. And then he can flip a switch and be a fierce competitor on the court.
"He's showing everybody why he is a player, why he's had that career and why he's going to continue to be that phenomenal person he is in the community each and every day."
When two stars like Butler and Wade are on the same team, they are instantly going to be looked upon to provide leadership.
While the two may have different leadership styles, Butler says they both want the same thing: to win.
"There's different ways to lead and to go about it. I think with him [Wade] he just knows how to win," Butler said. "He knows what it takes to win a championship, he's done it, and he's always in the gym, taking care of his body, so the young guys we're taking notice because that's how you get to play as many years as he's played and be the type of player he's been, because he's constantly working every single day even when he's not on the basketball court."
Butler is leading the team in scoring, averaging 24.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Wade is averaging 19.3 points per game, while helping to organise the offense. All they need now is more consistent contribution from Rajon Rondo, who is averaging just 8.1 points and 7.2 assists per game.
Chicago has a tough test on Christmas Day, facing off against the steady San Antonio Spurs. Kawhi Leonard, one of the most underrated players in the NBA, leads San Antonio, and Butler is certainly aware of his abilities.
"He's a great player overall, not just as a defender, but he plays both sides of the ball extremely well," Butler said of Leonard. "I just think the amount of work we both put into it in the summer and every single day is the reason our careers have taken off the way that they have.
"I don't compare myself to anybody, I don't feel like I have to play well against anybody else, I just feel as though every night I have to do whatever it takes for the team to win, no matter my match-up. It's not whose better than who, it's all about the team winning the game."
The Chicago Bulls take on the San Antonio Spurs as part of a very special NBA Sundays on Christmas Day. Catch all the ‘NBA Sundays on Christmas Day presented by NBA2K17’ games via NBA LEAGUE PASS at www.nba.tv .