The Jimmy Butler drama in Minnesota reached new heights on Wednesday when the disgruntled All-Star took the court with his Minnesota Timberwolves teammates for the first time since requesting a trade several weeks ago.
On Wednesday, Butler reportedly opted to play with bench and rotational players against the Wolves’ starters. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Butler taunted players such as Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns while facing off against them:
“Screaming from the top of his lungs, Butler uttered taunts at his teammates, including ‘They ain’t [expletive]!’ and ‘They soft!,’ league sources said. Most of the players knew the invectives were directed at Towns and Wiggins, sources said.
“Butler naturally wasn’t in the best of shape, but he held his own, league sources said.
“At one point, Butler found himself guarding Towns in the post. After Towns received the entry pass, Butler yelled, ‘He can’t do [expletive] against me!’ Towns ended up passing the ball out, sources said.”
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Butler also reportedly gave Wolves general manager Scott Layden a piece of his mind:
“As the GM watched on the sidelines during a scrimmage, sources said that Butler yelled to Layden: ‘You f—ing need me, Scott. You can’t win without me.'”
Butler wasn’t done either. He also spoke directly about both Wiggins and Towns, saying that while both are more physically gifted than Butler, neither work as hard.
“Am I being tough on him? Yeah, that’s who am I,” Butler said. “I’m not the most talented player on the team. Who is the most talented player on our team — KAT. Who is the most God-gifted player on our team — Wiggs. Who plays the hardest? Me! I play hard. I put my body [on the line] every day in practice, every day in games. That’s my passion. Everybody leads in different ways. That’s how I show I’m here for you.”
Despite Butler’s odd form of motivation directed towards his current teammates, it remains fairly clear that he wants out of Minnesota. He said as much while speaking with ESPNs’s Rachel Nichols shortly after the practice came to an end.
“It’s not fixed,” Butler told Nichols. “Let’s be honest.”
Perhaps Butler’s display will encourage the Wolves’ front office to accept an offer and get the current distraction off their roster.
Butler’s actions give Heat fans something new to consider as well. Given the way Butler behaved on the court, it is possible that some members of the Miami faithful will begin to question whether or not they want a personality like that in South Florida.