Did Jimmy Butler Really Call A T-Wolves 'Players-Only' Meeting?
Jimmy Butler made headlines for his emotional first practice, something the Minnesota Timberwolves do not need right now. With the 208-19 NBA season fast-approaching, the team initially wanted everyone to be on the same page and brace for war.
A sidelight at the time was the case of Jimmy Butler. The NBA all-star requested for a trade and so far, nothing has gone down. The Miami Heat were reportedly close to getting him in exchange for Josh Richardson until Timberwolves' management tweaked the deal and asked for something more. And as mentioned in a previous post, trade negotiations fizzled.
As far as Butler is concerned, it seems pretty clear that he wants to move to another team for various reasons. Though he claims that money is not the issue and that he would play for any team that wants him, that doesn't seem to be the case in Minnesota.
Hence, the profanity-laced outburst he had during his first practice with the T-Wolves can be viewed in two ways. One is that he is trying to make a statement by creating a distraction to force the hand of team owner Glen Taylor and coach Tom Thibodeau to find a team for him. The other reason is that he is trying to fire up the boys with the hope of seeing a more serious team that can roll this coming season.
It is no secret that Butler has his issues with the team's young guns in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Lest we forget, the 29-year-old does have a history with Derrick Rose if one tries to revisit their days with the Chicago Bulls. While both denied any rift between them, Butler seems to be proving that he is becoming a pain with his stock clearly rising. However, his tantrums could scare away teams from getting him since this would cause disharmony within the ranks.
The latest is that Butler had reportedly called a players-only meeting, ESPN said. Butler claims that he called the gathering to single out that he had no qualms with the players and that his problem is with management.
This comes a day after that celebrated practice in what can be seen as a way to explain his side. However, Jeff Teague contends that it was not a players-only meeting further adding fire to the crisis.
Butler letting out his emotions is good. But as far as selling it, most believe it is nothing more than just trying to cover up his antics. For the T-Wolves, the message is clear - trade him now or suffer the consequences.