In 2017, the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves in an NBA Draft deal that sparked the beginning of the guard’s equally brief and tumultuous stint in Minnesota.
Prior to the start of the 2018 season, Butler informed the T-Wolves he wanted a change of scenery, which led to a bit of a standoff that escalated very quickly after he arrived at training camp.
If you remember that saga, you’re likely familiar with the practice where Butler tore into his teammates and Minnesota’s GM and attempted to prove his worth by demanding to play with a group of backups before wiping the floor with a team of starters that included Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Jeff Teague was also a member of the squad that lost to Butler and his ragtag group of G-Leaguers, and during a recent episode of the Club 520 podcast, the guard shed some new light on exactly what transpired on that fateful day.
Tom Thibodeau initially directed Butler to team up with the rest of the starters but declined to push back after he insisted on helming a group Teague described as “the Bad News Bears.”
Butler quickly called dibs on guarding KAT and promptly took control of a scrimmage where he started talking trash to basically everybody in the gym en route to leading his side to an 18-6 victory.
Teague recalled the fairly wild scene that unfolded from there, saying:
“Jimmy is going crazy. ‘Y’all think that team can win without me! I’m HIM! Pay me! Pay me!’
Mind you, he hasn’t taken off his Jordan warm-up yet so he finally takes it off. He’s got the Timberwolves shirt on but he cut the “Minnesota” out so it’s just chest. He cut the “Minnesota” out of the shorts; it’s just shorts…
He’s like, ‘I just beat them with the G-Leaguers! This is your starters?!’ So now, I’m laughing, I’m still crying laughing, but I’m like ‘Hold on, he talking about me.'”
The starters tried to get a rematch, but Butler had already headed to the locker room for reasons that quickly became apparent to the rest of the team when the practice ended:
“We go into the locker room and ESPN pops up. Rachel Nichols and Jimmy Butler are on TV. We’re like ‘What the f***!’
[He tells her] ‘Yeah, I just killed them at practice and I think they’re all good players…’
I can’t make this up, bro. He came and killed us and then did an interview at home. One of the most iconic moments I’ve ever been a part of in basketball.”
Butler ultimately played 10 games with the Timberwolves that year before the team granted his request by trading him to the 76ers.
I guess that’s one way to make a point.