Heading into the 2022-23 season, the Minnesota Timberwolves are one of the best teams in the Western Conference. They’ve shown to be a very deep team in preseason, and they’re set to be a dangerous bunch in large part because of their fantastic team chemistry.
But that wasn’t always the case. Before they elevated themselves to the level of a true playoff contender, there were some power struggles within the organization. And on this day, one such struggle in particular comes to mind.
If you’re a Timberwolves fan, you remember exactly what I’m talking about. It was four years ago on this day that Jimmy Butler had his infamous moment at Timberwolves practice that would be talked about for years to come.
Butler’s practice eruption became infamous overnight
After requesting a trade from Minnesota three weeks prior, Butler made his return to practice on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018, and he meant business.
Challenging both his teammates and the Timberwolves’ ownership, Butler teamed up with end-of-the-bench players and proceeded to dominate the team’s scrimmage during practice. According to reports, Butler only shot the ball once, but he put on a clinic in passing, blocking shots, and getting steals.
When the scrimmage was over, he reportedly left the gym while directing comments at then-General Manager Scott Layden. Butler told the GM that he needed him, and told him, “You can’t win without me.”
It was quite the show of emotion from Jimmy Butler, and one that ultimately led to his departure from the team a few weeks later when he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Butler’s outburst hasn’t been forgotten
Butler went on record and admitted that he let his emotions get the best of him that day. He was ultimately trying to motivate his teammates, but he didn’t go about it the most ideal way.
He also lifted up his teammates, saying that while he believed he played the hardest, he also saw Karl-Anthony Towns as the most talented player on the team.
After the incident went public and Butler was traded, Timberwolves fans have certainly let Butler hear it every time he makes a return trip to the Target Center. Ultimately, the situation created a fun rivalry that will likely last as long as Butler is in the league.
The Minnesota Timberwolves faithful will have their chance to heckle Jimmy Butler once again when the Miami Heat travel to the Twin Cities on November 21st.