MINNEAPOLIS – Jimmy Butler's unusual distance with Minnesota Timberwolves took another twist on Friday night when the fans broke him…
MINNEAPOLIS – Jimmy Butler’s unusual distance with Minnesota Timberwolves took another twist on Friday night when the fans broke him boos when introduced, just to put him on MVP chants after a masterful performance.
Butler laughed at law enforcement that they could not win without him when he returned to training last week after making a demand for trade. He backed it in Wolves home opener and scored 33 points on 10 out of 12 shots with four steals and two blocks. A crucial strike and dagger bell at the last minute ended a 131-123 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
During the game, he crumbled on fans who shot him, bounced at Tom Thibodeau coach sometimes and went straight past owner Glen Taylor as Taylor greeted players just before the tipoff.
“I love it. I love it,” Butler said. “I think people love to hate me sometimes. Say what you want to say, but it makes me really laugh what people like me. But whatever you have to respect my effort.”
The last player out of the locker room when teammates had gone to the airport for a late flight to Dallas, Butler said he loved to be in the scam. And there is no end in sight with the Wolves who are currently not involved in material trade negotiations and seemingly dependent on his contribution.
Jimmy Butler says he “loves” when the fans boo him as long as the wolves are winning and expected fans to switch to the bowl in the end.
As he has mentioned in previous interviews, Butler’s fans and media did not tell the whole story and made him the “bad guy” without all the facts. When he asked to develop, he declined. He also aimed at some of his teammates, another common element in this saga, when he called Wolves play “wishy washy” after they almost became 21-led lead to Cleveland.
“You may not like me, it’s okay, but as long as you know my mind and my heart are in the right place, I’m doing everything to win and I’d do something for my guys,” Butler said.
When it was pointed out that Butler is playing at this level, only the volves want to hold on to him longer, he replied, “What do you want me to do, score points?”
Butler’s teammates continued to be in an odd space and offered support but kept their distance Andrew Wiggins, who had 22 points on Friday, dressed and left the arena fast. So did Jeff Teague, who had nine points and seven deputies.
“Jimmy does not care,” said team mate Tyus Jones about booing. “He manages his business when he is in court. Boos, cheers, anything.”
Thibodeau, currently instructed by Taylor to focus on coaching and not on possible Butler stores, continued to dissolve the situation.
“It’s NBA,” said Thibodeau on Friday night’s events. “One thing with fans, it will be an appreciation for a guy who plays hard and strives every game.”
With a smile on his face when discussing the strange circumstances, Butler felt discomfort.
“I’m just playing basketball. I’m playing hard. I’m playing to win,” Butler said. “I know they will hate me at the end of the day, it will happen.”