The Butler Diaries

Things have been a bit wonky in Minnesota for quite some time now and it doesn’t seem as if that is going to change anytime soon. This can be attributed to the one and only Jimmy Butler. He’s been a menace on and (more specifically) off the court and I have been enthralled by every second of it. It’s an amazing display of content production as every story/piece of news that comes out about him is all gold. I’ve been on record saying that Jimmy Butler is my favorite player in the NBA that I would never, ever, EVER want on the Celtics. This, as far as I’m concerned, is the correct take and you should thank me for bringing it to the forefront. To that I say, you are all welcome.

Jimmy pumped

Anyways, this whole dilemma started way back in July as news came out that Butler was “fed up” with the organization/young players on the team and that he had no plans of signing an extension. While this isn’t the worst news ever for Timberwolves’ fans it sure isn’t great. For a franchise who has had one playoff appearance (a 5 game gentleman’s sweep by Houston last season) since Kevin Garnett won the MVP in the 2003-04 season it’s a big blow. Read that sentence again. SINCE KG WON THE MVP!!! That’s nothing short of preposterous and the only team in the NBA you can compare that sort of ineptitude to is the Kings (yikes). It’s also of note that Minnesota traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the 7th Overall Pick in the 2016 draft who ended up being Lauri Markkanen for Butler and the 16th pick in that same draft, Justin Patton. In translation, they mortgaged the future they were building for 2+ years for a 28-year-old Jimmy Butler with two years left on his contract (god bless Tom Thibodeau). From here on out is where this story goes off the rails so I’d advise you to fasten your seatbelt, keep all extremities in the vehicle, and enjoy the ride.

September 15th: Minnesota management plans to meet with Butler to discuss his future

Seems like a good step in the right direction. Maybe they can hash some things out and get Jimmy to buy back into the franchise.

September 18th: Team meets with Butler but instead of going to Minnesota to meet he has them come to him in Los Angeles.

THIS, this is where things start to get good in hindsight. On the onset it’s such a small thing to have management come to LA instead of Jimmy going out to meet them in Minnesota. But really, you know for sure Jimmy called up Thibs the night before and said “Listen Thomas, you’re clinically insane if you think I’m coming anywhere near that desolate chunk of ice.  You guys want to talk? Come meet me on Venice Beach.” Then Thibs apologized for thinking of such an outlandish idea and frantically planned to get out to LA the next morning (At least this is how I imagine it went down). This feels like the point where Jimmy started to realize he can do whatever he wants and this franchise won’t do a thing to stop him.

All in all, the meeting ended with Jimmy requesting a trade and that the three teams he’d be interested in are the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, and the New York Knicks. Great job Minnesota. You guys went all the way out to talk to this dude in LA and all you got was his preferred team list which you weren’t on. Things are just dandy. Keep up the good work.

September 19th -October 9th: The Wolves are clear they do not plan on trading Jimmy and that they consider him an integral part of their team…Jimmy sits out the start of training camp

Good. God. What is the best thing you can do with your disgruntled star who clearly wants no part of your franchise? Hang onto him and let things spiral out of control! This whole span of our tale is basically a purgatory. Jimmy isn’t playing, Thibs will not trade him under any circumstances, Glen Taylor (Team Owner) is telling teams to contact him directly about trade requests, everything is a mess, and the season is set to start in less than a month. Fantastic.

October 18th: Jimmy comes into practice, screams at literally everybody in the building, beats the starters with benchwarmers, left teammates/coaches “speechless”, and has an impromptu interview with Rachel Nichols regarding his issues with the team

What movie plot is this? Is the Woj account you read that from verified? What is going on? Jimmy Butler came into practice and reportedly just hooped on the entire team and let everyone know about it. At the point in practice where they began to scrimmage Butler asked Thibs to take him from the starting group and place him with the 3rd string. Long story short, he beat the starters with the worst four players on the roster. During said scrimmage he targeted Thibs, GM Scott Layden, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and others during his stunt. At one point reportedly telling Layden, “You F***ing need me Scott. You can’t win without me”. He even switched onto Towns during the scrimmage and gave him hell. You can use your imagination to decipher what Jimmy was saying to Towns during this whole fiasco. Towns was also said to be “distraught and speechless” after practice. Man Karl, have some self-respect. You CANNOT and I repeat CANNOT lose to Butler and the third string if you ever want any respect in the league (I’m looking at you Andrew Wiggins as well). To conclude things at the practice from hell, Butler stormed out of the practice facility like the Joker after blowing up the hospital in The Dark Knight.

joker 2

From there he waltzed straight into a tell-all interview with Rachel Nichols and ESPN where he basically defended his display by saying he’s competitive and just wants to win (??????). It’s so delusional and so fascinating that I could do nothing other than laugh. My main point about his interview being hysterical has nothing to do with the interview at all. Isn’t it weird that Rachel Nichols and ESPN just happened to be in the area to even conduct this interview? Why would they ever just be hanging around Minnesota and how did they get there at such an opportune time? The answer is that this was staged by Jimmy Butler. Imagine this. He called Rachel Nichols and said “Hey, I’m planning on degrading the whole franchise in practice tomorrow you guys should definitely come to interview me after it. It’ll be great.” WHAT A FLEX. He told people he was going to do this and then he not only pulled through with it, but, it was even better than advertised. I can’t even fault him for it because the level of respect I have for that is astronomical. Jimmy Butler LOVES Jimmy Butler and his confidence is sky high at all times

Since the infamous practice:

So you’d think this was all enough for the Wolves to finally trade Butler. Nope! They did not trade Jimmy Butler, he is still there, and the dysfunctional family treads on. They even reportedly declined 4 (FOUR!) first round picks from Houston for Butler. What is crazy about this is that this isn’t effecting Jimmy Butler the player one bit. He’s been phenomenal, averaging 22.2 pts 4.9 rebs 3.9 ast 2.4 stl and 1.1 blk with shooting splits of 49/39.5/80. He got booed on opening night in Minnesota and by the end of the game the fans were chanting MVP for him, he’s waved his towel with Warrior fans while his team was losing, and he sits out whenever he wants to due to “precautionary rest”. He’s a visionary living his best life and should be treated as such. From an organizational standpoint, this is bad for the league. He’s undermined everybody in the organization and made a mockery out of the team.  From a fan’s standpoint I think it’s great for the league. A good portion of the NBA’s entertainment is due to the pettiness and the overall ridiculous nature of the league. For the Timberwolves, this is a living nightmare. For me, I hope Butler is on the team for the rest of the season because I just can’t get enough of it.

-Chuck

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