We knew the luggage that Jimmy Butler brought from Minnesota. It was the same kind of baggage he brought from Chicago. The T'Wolves formed a team of two budding stars, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, who sought to move on to the next stage, and then see him crash into a fiery hell. According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the Sixers could move in the same direction:
Reporting with @ramonashelburne: Jimmy Butler of Philadelphia aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown in the all-star game against the 76ers, complicating the already tenuous chemistry of the top three teams. Story on ESPN. https://t.co/DYqEAZNzM1
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 4, 2019
Let's be a little more awkward here for a second, if we can. Optics are not awesome: Butler is looking to sign a maximum extension after this season, and it has been reported that he would prefer to sign one with Philly, particularly because of his ability to offer him the most lucrative contract. The original title was more incendiary than the piece itself, but there was this worrying little detail:
Butler voiced his voice in his challenge to Brown and his system, including in a recent film session in Portland, considered by some witnesses as "disrespectful" and going beyond the normal speech between players and coaches.
Brown told people within the organization that he had no problem with this exchange and considered it within the bounds of the relationship he developed with Butler , sources said.
Woj and Shelburne's report is full of sources from league, team and player close circles, but the messages are also inconsistent. For example, there was mention of the possibility that Butler may hold free-standing meetings. according to league sources and that "its long-term viability and adaptation to the organization raises some concerns", again, according to league sources. I read that because other teams were interested in brewing the pot and peddling a tale of contention in a young locker room.
The notion that Brown and his owners are top of mind is also interesting … it is urgent that Brown and his team of coaches stabilize the situation …. In the meantime, Woj also recalled that the franchise's position was "The Big Three" work in the short and long term.
For its part, Butler has always been direct. The Sixers knew what they were getting into. In all fairness, he is probably right to a certain extent. Would it kill Brown to play some more isolation games or play with Joel Embiid? Probably not. Should it be said that Butler was upset by his voice? No.