It’s no secret around the NBA that Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler is not happy with his current team and wants to be traded.
But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t going to show up at the team’s practice session yesterday.
But he was only there to work on his basketball skills—not his people skills
Which is why ESPN reports that Butler was seen “verbally challenging teammates, coaches and (the) front office,” with his anger directed specifically at head coach Tom Thibodeau as well as teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, among others.
The optics here are about as bad as it gets as, even prior to requesting a trade, Butler seemed to have an issue with both Towns and Wiggins. That’s now been taken to a whole new level that he’s demanded a trade from the team.
Still, as bad as it sounds, it’s worth noting that Butler himself would later say that the outburst came from the “love of the game.”
Wow, he must really love it considering at one point he was heard screaming directly at GM Scott Layden, “You (bleeping) need me. You can’t win without me.”
Butler left teammates and coaches largely speechless. He dominated the gym in every way. Jimmy’s back.
Hey, he isn’t wrong.
The Timberwolves may have gone to the postseason for the first time in 13 years but they needed all 82 games to do so, defeating the Denver Nuggets on the final night of the season for the Number 8 spot out West—because Butler was lost the final weeks with a knee injury—and that nearly cost them the playoffs.
Can’t imagine them doing much if he actually does leave Minny.