Jimmy Butler says practice outburst came from ‘love of the game’
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler confirmed the reporting about his intense practice on Wednesday, adding that it came from his love of the game.
Reports Wednesday said Butler called out teammates, coaches, and executives, challenging them and going as far as to say that the Timberwolves couldn’t win without him. Butler ultimately confirmed that much of the reporting was true and he perhaps should have handled things differently, but it was simply the result of his honesty and passion for a game he hadn’t played in some time.
“A lot of it is true,” Butler told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “But you gotta think, I haven’t played basketball in so long, and I’m so passionate, and I love the game. And I don’t do it for any other reason except for to compete and go up against the best to try to prove that I can hang. So all my emotion came out at one time. Was it the right way to do it? No. But I can’t control that when I’m out there competing. That’s my love of the game. That’s raw me, me at my finest, me at my purest, and that’s what you’re gonna get inside the lines.
“I think that I was honest. Was I brutally honest? Yes. I think that’s the problem. Everybody’s so scared to be honest with one another. If you didn’t like the way that I handled myself in practice, one of the players come up to me. Somebody say something, anybody. I’m not gonna take any offense. It’s not personal.”
Butler’s actions apparently galvanized some of the players, but the implications aren’t really clear yet. It’s also not clear what the Timberwolves, who are trying to trade him, think of his actions. Ultimately, it’s Butler being Butler in his mind, like it or not, and he’s not going to compromise.