To the casual observer, it appears Jimmy Butler has come unhinged. But those who know the Minnesota Timberwolves forward see a different narrative.
An eye-opening report Wednesday revealed Butler essentially threw a mini-tantrum at Timberwolves practice, screaming at general manager Scott Layden and confronting players. Butler actually confirmed many of those details in an interview with ESPN, admitting he may have gotten carried away but also insisting his intensity was nothing new.
Jae Crowder can attest to that last point.
The Utah Jazz forward spent two seasons at Butler’s college teammate at Marquette in 2010 and 2011, so as the criticism piled up, Crowder offered this take Wednesday night on Twitter:
Crowder tagged their former head coach at Marquette, Buzz Williams, crediting him for “creating” the ferocious edge that’s helped Butler become so successful. That’s when former Golden Eagles assistant Jamie McNeilly chimed in to point out Crowder and Butler went at each other often.
Boston Celtics fans shouldn’t be surprised by this, as Crowder played with a similar tenacity during his three seasons with the team.
Of course, there’s more to the Butler drama than a spirited practice. The 29-year-old reportedly has demanded a trade from Minnesota and become increasingly frustrated with the team’s inability to move him, even threatening not to play for the T-Wolves this season if they can’t find a trade partner.
At least one NBA player is on his side, though.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images