Last season, Jimmy Butler succeeded in leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to their first appearance in the Western Conference Playoffs since 2004. However, Butler and the Timberwolves were easily eliminated by the Houston Rockets in the first round. After an early playoff exit, Butler expressed his frustration with his young teammates, specifically Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
The drama in Minnesota ended when Jimmy Butler was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2020 second-round pick. On Tuesday night, Butler played against his former team for the first time in the 2018-19 NBA season. The Butler-led Sixers proved to be the better team after defeating the Timberwolves in a dominant fashion, 149-107. In just 28 minutes of action, Butler posted 19 points, three rebounds, four assists, one block, and two steals on 8-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Before the game, Jimmy Butler had an interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated to talk about his failed stint with the Timberwolves and his expectations from the Sixers. Despite what happened during the 2018 NBA offseason, Butler still considered his time with the Timberwolves a “great chapter” in his life.
“I had a pretty solid year there with Minnesota. Met some new people, some new teammates, and did something that wasn’t done there in 14 years, making the playoffs. But things just didn’t work out the way that a lot people had hoped and planned that it would. But that’s just the business part of basketball.”
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) January 16, 2019
Jimmy Butler said that he doesn’t hold any grudge against the Timberwolves and added that he doesn’t have any bad thing to say to anyone in the organization. So far, it seems like Butler has already moved on from the offseason drama that happened between him and the Timberwolves. As of now, he’s focused on helping the Sixers fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win the 2019 NBA championship title.
However, recently, Jimmy Butler once again became part of the headlines after having a heated exchange of words with Coach Brett Brown about his role on the Sixers’ offense. Butler and Brown had downplayed the issue, but both of them didn’t deny the problem existing with the team.
“We’re still working out all the kinks of everything,” Butler said. “Everybody trying to figure everybody out two months in and we still got a long way to go. The whole thing is just to win and figure out how we’re going to win come playoff time.”
To prevent similar things from happening in Philadelphia, Jimmy Butler urged his teammates, specifically Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, to be honest with one another and fix any problem as quickly as possible. Butler admitted that chemistry has been an issue since his arrival in the City of Brotherly Love, but he’s very confident that the Sixers will figure everything out before the real battle begins in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.