Jimmy Butler didn’t hold anything back in first practice with the Timberwolves.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Butler aggression was aimed at Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Butler reportedly yelled out “they ain’t s–t” and “they soft” at Wiggins and Towns, as he led third-stringers to victories over the staring unit.
“He can’t do s–t against me!” Butler exclaimed at one point when defending Towns in the post, per Haynes. Towns ultimately kicked the ball out on the possession.
“A lot of it is true,” Butler told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “I haven’t played basketball in so long. I’m so passionate. I don’t do it for any reason but to compete. All my emotion came out in one time. Was it the right way? No! But I can’t control that when I’m out there competing. That’s raw me, me at my finest, me at my purest. Inside the lines.”
Butler admitted he has targeted Towns and Wiggins with harsh criticism. He insinuated he gets on the two young players because he sees them not playing as hard as he does—while acknowledging their talent.
“Am I being tough on him? Yeah, that’s who am I,” Butler said. “I’m not the most talented player on the team. Who is the most talented player on our team? KAT. Who is the most God-gifted player on our team?Wiggs. … Who plays the hardest? Me! I play hard. I put my body [on the line] every day in practice, every day in games. That’s my passion. Everybody leads in different ways. That’s how I show I’m here for you.”