Rumor: Jimmy Butler Told Tom Thibodeau Monday What He'd Do at T-Wolves Practice

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2018

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2018, file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23)  watches in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Minneapolis. Butler isn't the first NBA star to ask for a trade, nor will he be the last. But it's far from guaranteed that even if he succeeds in forcing Minnesota into making a move he'll wind up in a place he wants. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau was reportedly aware that All-Star Jimmy Butler planned to make a scene at practice Wednesday.

According to Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic, Butler told Thibodeau during a meeting Monday that he would act out to hammer home his desire to be traded.

Butler reportedly taunted several T-Wolves players during scrimmages, including Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, before exclaiming, "I run this s--t," upon leaving the court.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Butler also targeted Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden during his rant.

Butler reportedly yelled, "You f---ing need me, Scott. You can't win without me."

Immediately after the display, Butler sat down for an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols.

He explained the rationale behind his actions, saying, "I haven't played basketball in so long. I'm so passionate. I don't do it for any reason but to compete. All my emotion came out in one time. Was it the right way? No! But I can't control that when I'm out there competing. That's raw me, me at my finest, me at my purest. Inside the lines."

Butler requested a trade three weeks ago, and when asked by Nichols if his relationship with the Timberwolves could be saved, he wasn't optimistic: "It's not fixed. Let's be honest. ... It could be. Do I think so? No."

Last season was Butler's first in Minnesota after he was traded from the Chicago Bulls for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen.

Butler was named an All-Star and helped lead the T-Wolves to their first playoff berth since 2003-04, but he is clearly unhappy with the current situation.

A deal with the Miami Heat involving Butler reportedly fell apart over the weekend, according to Wojnarowski, but the Heat are still interested, which means a trade is possible before the regular season opens next week.

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