Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves had one of the crazier standoffs in the history of sports.
Whether it was the non-communicative All-Star in Jimmy Butler, the rumored disruption and expletives at practice, or the Rachel Nichols interview, there was a lot going on in the Twin Cities over the summer.
Much like an E Network television show, Jimmy Butler and the porous Wolves’ front office created a “Housewives of the Minnesota Timberwolves” type drama. It all began – to the fans eye – with this tweet:
It seemed to be true that Butler was denying the idea of re-signing with the Wolves’ because he didn’t think he could win with the vibe – or lack-thereof – in the locker room. Not that we blame him about that vibe, but no one is angry about the trade demands, its what followed that what makes Wolves’ fans worked up.
Aside from the Wiggins’ brother comments that Butler soon responded to, or the rumors that Karl-Anthony Towns’ ex-girlfriend was dating Butler, it seemed that was all appetizers to the main course that was coming up.
Butler supposedly asked Thibs if he could come to a practice after 2 months of his trade demands, missing team events, and missing other practices. Thibs – in the most Thibs move – said yes, and the following ensued via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
"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.” It was Butler’s first practice with the team since requesting a trade three weeks ago. In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols after Wednesday’s practice, Butler described his emotions in the practice session. “A lot of it is true,” he said. “I haven’t played basketball in so long. I’m so passionate. I don’t do it for any reason but to compete. All my emotion came out in one time. Was it the right way? No! But I can’t control that when I’m out there competing. That’s raw me, me at my finest, me at my purest. Inside the lines.”"
Jimmy Butler told the general manager of a billion dollar franchise that he “f—ing needed him” in order to succeed. So naturally, GM Scott Layden and President of Basketball Operations did need Butler, they needed him to go to the Philadelphia 76ers for a solid package.
Our next slide is post-Nichols interview and it has to do with the insanity that was the Wolves’ start to the season with Butler on the team, and his trade that has given Minnesota a very similar road to success.