Let me start this off by saying that I am a Jimmy Butler homer. I was at Marquette when he played there. He then got drafted by my favorite team, the Chicago Bulls. He has a great story coming from literally nothing to the superstar that he is today.
I love Jimmy Butler, always have and hopefully always will.
What went down yesterday was one of the more dramatic things a professional athlete can do. For those who don’t know, I will let twitter explain it.
There is a lot to dissect here. Let me start with this, I 100% agree with the message Jimmy Butler was attempting to send. He has had issues with Towns and Wiggins for how they play the game of basketball. He thinks they don’t care and are extremely soft. He showed that by dominating one of the best big men in the game at his own position. Taking the 3rd stringers and beating the starters in a scrimmage is as badass as it gets. He has an issue with upper management, he conveyed that message loud and clear Wednesday.
My biggest issue with all of this is the delivery of the message. Jimmy Butler made this a complete and utter spectacle. I get he was trying to embarrass the Timberwolves franchise but is that really the stigma you want to carry throughout the league? Executives are now going to be extremely weary to sign Jimmy because they know if something doesn’t go his way he may go Joker on the entire franchise. He already had issues with the Chicago Bulls front office before they decided to trade him to Minnesota. He is a fantastic competitor, I don’t think anyone would deny that. He expects a lot out of his teammates and if he does not get that then you will hear about it. Jimmy has voiced his displeasure with KAT and Wiggins multiple times. He now let the entire world know about it in the loudest way possible.
Personally, I think demanding a trade in general is a bit of a diva move. He has been on this team for one season, he can opt out and become a free agent next year. He can then sign with whatever team he wants. A trade does not allow him the freedom he is looking for when it comes to choosing his next destination. Is screaming “You fucking need me, you can’t win without me” while dominating the starters with the scrubs really going to make the front office trade Jimmy? Absolutely not, if anything he is proving their point correct. Yes Jimmy, we clearly do need you. Can we just not trade you and you can play with the starters you are dominating? The front office is probably thinking well shit, this team would actually be pretty solid if everyone could come together. Right now. Over me.
I am also a bit woke on this whole situation. Jimmy goes postal on the Timberwolves in practice. The story is almost instantly all over twitter. Jimmy then has an interview with Rachel Nichols later that day to make sure he is the person that speaks to the media first. He shows that he is just trying to be a good teammate and get the most out of the players while making the front office look bad. Here is what Rachel Nichols tweeted to get her side of the story out.
Jimmy knew exactly what he was doing. He was the talk of the sports world yesterday. Twitter could not stop buzzing about what he had done. He has cared about his image a lot since he became a star. If someone came out and told me this was a PR stunt by Butler and his team I don’t think anyone would be surprised.
My views on Jimmy have changed a bit in the last few years. He butted heads with the front office in Chicago. He now has butted heads with the front office in Minnesota. He really is not the humble guy from Tomball, Texas anymore. I still love Jimmy. He is the competitor that I think every team deserves to have. He has now become such a liability off the court that I think most teams would pass on that competitiveness.
Last but not least, thank you Jimmy. If anything, you are one entertaining dude. Practice tirades have become legendary in the NBA. Thank you for adding to the greatest soap opera on planet Earth, the National Basketball Association.