Report: Butler calls players-only meeting with Timberwolves
NBA.com Global on Oct 12, 2018 07:04 AM
FILE - LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to the media during NBA All-Star Media Day as part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
A day after being vocal about his displeasure with the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star guard Jimmy Butler reportedly told his teammates today that he would compete with them.
Per The Athletic's Shams Charania, Butler talked at length with his teammates, airing out his feelings about them and the team at large. On Wednesday, Butler reportedly verbally challenged teammates, coaches and the front office during the practice session. According to Wojnarowski, Butler yelled, "you can't win without me," at GM Scott Layden during the practice. His actions reportedly left his teammates and coaches "speechless."
Via Twitter, Charania reports the following:
Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Several players spoke up in players-only meeting, but Butler led it, made known his issues with management. His message was similar to one he displayed Wednesday: I run this. He's far too competitive to sit real games. https://t.co/Cwo8OCFY8m— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 11, 2018
However, according to teammate Jeff Teague on Twitter, the players-only meeting didn't happen and this is "fake news":
@ShamsCharania it wasn’t no players meeting you just made that up bro y’all gotta relax with this fake news— Jeff Teague (@Teague0) October 11, 2018
Butler spoke with ESPN's Rachel Nichols on Wednesday afternoon to explain his actions during practice.
"A lot of it is true. You have to think ... I haven't played played basketball in so long," Butler told Nichols. "And I'm so passionate. And I love the game. And I don't do it for any other reason except to compete and go up against the best to try to prove that I can hang."
"So all of 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, my purest. That's what you're going to get inside the lines."
"I was honest," Butler continued. "Was I brutally honest? Yes. But I think that's the problem. Everybody is so scared to be honest with one another. If you didn't like the way I handled myself in practice, one of the players come up to me. Somebody say something. Anybody. I'm not going to take offense. It's not personal."