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Jimmy Butler goes after Karl-Anthony Towns’ toughness in practice


(David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Jimmy Butler saga in Minnesota is reaching epic proportions, and a great deal of it is centered around former Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns.

To give you the Cliff Notes version of the situation, Butler demanded a trade from the Timberwolves three weeks ago, but the franchise has been trying to smooth things over with the star shooting guard before settling on a trade. Butler believes his passion to win and overall work ethic far exceeds both Towns and former Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins, and he wants to be placed in an environment where players’ mindsets align with his. Oh, and he wants money. Lots and lots of money.

After sitting out the first several weeks of training camp and preseason play, Butler begrudgingly returned to practice this afternoon with one goal in mind: make the Timberwolves understand his value to the team. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Butler showed up late, subbed himself in with the third-string, and went out of his way to single-handedly defeat the starters. More specifically, he wanted to go out and attack Towns and Wiggins.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Butler taunted both Towns and Wiggins in practice, screaming expletives directed at each of them at the top of his lungs.

“Butler uttered taunts at his teammates, including “They ain’t [expletive]!” and “They soft!”, said Haynes, via league sources.

As for Towns specifically, Haynes reports Butler called the former Wildcat out when the two were matched up in the post.

“At one point, Butler found himself guarding Towns in the post,” said Haynes. “After Towns received the entry pass, Butler yelled, “He can’t do [expletive] against me!” Towns ended up passing the ball out, sources said.”

In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Butler said Towns actually came at him with the trash talk first. He just responded with that same fire.

Butler elaborated on his situation with Towns, saying he understands the fourth-year center is the most talented player on the team, but he wants him to match his intensity.

“It depends on how you look at it,” Butler said. “Am I being tough on him? Yeah. Yeah. That’s who I am. I’m not the most talented player on the team. Who’s the most talented player on the team? KAT. Who’s the most god-gifted player on the team? (Wiggins). (Wiggins) got the longest arms, biggest hands, can jump the highest, can run the fastest. But like, who plays the hardest? Me. I play hard. I play really hard. I put my body on the line every day in practice. Every day in the games.”

And according to Wojnarowski, he let Minnesota’s general manager know just how hard he works and what he means to the team in practice.

“At one point, the All-Star guard turned to GM Scott Layden and screamed, “You (bleeping) need me. You can’t win without me,” he said.

Yahoo! Sports reports neither Towns nor Wiggins confronted Butler at any point during practice. In fact, Towns was reportedly “distraught” and “speechless” about the whole situation.

The former Kentucky star then tried to bring his teammates together as practice concluded in an attempt to rekindle the team chemistry. According to Haynes, the message didn’t come across the way Towns hoped.

“Towns then gathered the players in a huddle and gave a message centered on everyone keeping their emotions in check, league sources said. According to some of the players, the message felt empty,” he said.

In his interview with Nichols, Butler just said he wants to play somewhere where the players care about winning a championship just as much as he does, another slight toward Towns, Wiggins, and the Minnesota franchise.

“I want to be happy,” he said. “I want to win. I hate losing. If I don’t win a championship, what’s the point in making the playoffs.”

(Yahoo! Sports)

(ESPN)

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

18 responses to “Jimmy Butler goes after Karl-Anthony Towns’ toughness in practice”

  1. Catscats23

    I’d trade that fool to a league in Serbia if possible. What a clown.

  2. DelrayCat

    Butler ain’t worth a max deal….but with that said…he is sort of right on what he said about KAT and Wiggins. Anyone whose watched the T-Wolves play a good bit sees that. Granted…many many dudes in the NBA just cashing checks going through the motions.

    1. jahanc2uky

      I agree. It takes a certain level of crazy to be a winner in the NBA. Examples Garnett, Draymond, Kobe, Jordan… KAT needs to take what Butler is saying to heart. Hate losing sooo much he is willing to literally fight a guy for saying he doesnt care about being a winner. Butler is calling KAT a loser and is going down cursing everyone to be considered a winner. I hope KAT rises to this challenge and if he does, we may be looking at the next Wilt.

    2. bluecrowe

      Millennials…He is not wrong at all….It is what it is, sadly.

  3. ClutchCargo

    Damn, what a dysfunctional team.

  4. msnthrop

    Thibs burning it down before he goes…why would he create the conditions for that to happen to KAT.

    1. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots

      Thibs is only out for himself. Always has been, saw it here in Chicago as he trotted my childhood friend out during a playoff game they were up by 20 in during the 4th quarter only to see a career altering injury. He’s a royal POS.

  5. michaelb

    Hey I may be in the other percentile on this situation . Butler is right in my opinion . Everything has turned soft in the last 15 years or so . Full time is considered 28 mins per game now & list goes on . Butler is one of the last few real players left in the NBA . Sorry , I like towns & all our uk guys – it’s just the truth though -\o/-

  6. timbo

    I hope he continues to put character over winning and arrogant self-interest. You don’t have to curse and bad-mouth everyone while simultaneously demanding you be paid more. None of the guys you mentioned ever did that. Karl plays hard, plays to win, and has single-handedly made this team a playoff team; with or without Butler the diarrhea mouth. Beyond that, he prioritizes the right things in life, unlike Butler the diarrhea mouth.

    1. michaelb

      Kobe did this exact thing , but he was praised for it

    2. A_Blue_Wildcat

      Because Kobe won championships and at one point was the best player in the NBA. Jimmy Butler will never win a championship and will be lucky to be an all-star again.

  7. StuckinLville

    Sorry but Towns didn’t single-handedly do anything. I don’t recall him being in the playoffs before Butler. He was acting a fool and could have handled it better, but obviously Butler sees these guys in the locker room after a loss so he’s calling it like he sees it. Butler worked hard to get where he is and has been an All-Star. Towns and Wiggins had different routes to get where they are. I can see where Butler is coming from but at the same time, he’s gonna make it to where no one wants to play with him.

  8. Based God

    Don’t like the way he handled the situation, but Jimmy Buckets might have a point here. KAT should be a 20-20 guy every single night in this league, and Wiggins should be a perennial all-star as well with his talent. Butler was known as one of the most humble guys in the league in Chicago, so something must be happening in Minnesota.

    Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he’s just looking to get paid. In that regard I will say, Butler don’t deserve KAT money.

  9. bigblue2284

    Butler is a problem. No team gets rid of a star in their prime like Chicago did Butler. The guy is a malcontent, the Timberwolves would be smart to move him sooner than later.

  10. playmorezeppelin

    Color me shocked when he has issues with the players and coaches on his next team. And the team after that. And the one after that. Another diva doomed with the dissillusion that he is good enough to lead a team deep in the playoffs. DRose made him who he is but he has conveniently forgotten about that.

  11. KYJelly

    He’s the hardest worker on the team, but skipped out on training camp and preseason …… riiigghhtt

  12. Wade

    Kat is bigger and slower ,kind of a technician on the floor. He smiles like he’s having fun not acting like a punk. I like jimmy and his game but not everyone plays like that. I do believe kat needs to find attack mode more but he is who he is and that’s how he got here just like jimmy. He will grow more n mind and body. HE wants to win for sure.Ask all teams who do you want to start a team between jimmy and kat I know most will say kat. Jimmys not wrong when you wax the starters with third stringers but also think they just didn’t want to play with him out of fear. I Would have put him on his back for trying me and I think butler knew that’s not kat or te others.Wiggins is a waste of talent and I get that. But sg and center are different types. There’s no real answer but maybe the wolves can stay a pack and toughen up. Maybe Wiggins for a couple aggressive guys and let kat do his thing and be the best guy on a tough team.

  13. check

    Bad chemistry! Get Jimmy off the team. He claims he’s awesome for the team but his methods are poison. He’s destroying the team. Never stand for that!