As a basketball fan, this has been potentially the most embarrassing couple of weeks for the Timberwolves. That is saying something considering this franchise has seen incidents like the Joe Smith fiasco and Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio being drafted ahead of someone named Stephen Curry. However, this week it all culminated in Jimmy Butler showing up to practice on Wednesday in a firestorm putting everyone in the organization on their head.
There are plenty of people to blame for this disaster of a situation. We could focus on Glen Taylor, the owner. In his time owning the franchise, it has been virtually nothing but controversial and/or bad decisions. The fact that he has let Butler, coach Tom Thibodeau, and this entire situation escalate this far can entirely be traced back to Glen.
Another party to blame is Thibs. According to Jimmy, he let Thibs and the franchise know how he felt as soon as 4 days after the end of the season last year. It appears Thibs had all summer to work through Butler’s trade demand and simply ignored it, hoping it would work itself out. This ignorance is laughable. What is even more laughable is the fact that Thibs is still letting this happen. Thibs, a grown man and someone in a position of power, is begging Butler to stay while Butler does his best to burn this franchise to the ground.
Lastly, and most importantly, we can blame the direct source Jimmy Butler. This is what I want to focus on. Jimmy Butler showed up to practice infuriated and was extremely disruptive. He cussed out Thibs, General Manager Scott Layden, Karl Anthony-Towns, Wiggins, and probably even the sales staff for the Timberwolves.
After practice, he did a pre-planned interview with ESPN to explain his actions. The first question by Rachel Nichols asked him about his actions. His response paraphrased was that he hadn’t played basketball in so long and he can’t control his emotions when he is competing. Personally I find it odd that there aren’t players on every team who return from the offseason and act like this if it is as normal as Butler insinuates.
He then talked about honesty and said that he was the only one being honest on the team… You mean like having a planned outburst at practice and then doing a pre-planned “tell all” interview where you go behind everyone on your team’s back? Sounds honest to me.
I do understand Jimmy’s frustration. He demanded a trade, was ignored for 3 months and seems to be no closer to a resolution. He called out Towns and Wiggins for not wanting to win badly enough which probably has lines of truth in it.
However, Butler is a fraud. His entire montra is winning trumps everything… Which is why he demanded to leave a team worthy of a 3-5 seed in the playoffs with young talent for teams that are much worse but can offer him a maximum contract.
Jimmy Butler is egotistical, immature, destructive, embarrassing, dishonest, unprofessional and in general a terrible role model as an athlete. Nobody would dispute how hard he has worked to achieve what he has in his career, but there comes a point where being a decent human being should take precedent. Jimmy is now the most hated athlete in recent history in Minnesota and for good reason. The guy is simply the worst.
Trade Butler, fire Thibs and Layden, and sell the team Glen – all of Minnesota begs you to.
We need a fresh start.