Jimmy Butler Says He Held Players-Only Meeting; Jeff Teague Denies

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 11, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 23:  Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to the media after the game against the Houston Rockets in Game Four of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2018 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Sherman/Getty Images

Jimmy Butler spoke with Minnesota Timberwolves teammates following his outburst during practice Wednesday.

Per The Athletic's Shams Charania, Butler led a players-only meeting Thursday in which he told teammates he "would compete with them" and made known his issues with Timberwolves management.

Charania added Butler's main message was to let Minnesota players know he is going to be the one leading the group. Butler later confirmed the meeting happened to ESPN's Rachel Nichols.

However, Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague denied the meeting took place, calling it "fake news."

Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.com noted more members of the Timberwolves organization denied the meeting took place.

ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the four-time All-Star was "vociferous and intense" throughout his first practice Wednesday. He targeted head coach Tom Thibodeau, general manager Scott Layden and Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and other teammates.

"You f--king need me, Scott. You can't win without me," Butler yelled at Layden, per Wojnarowski.

In an interview later Wednesday with Nichols, Butler explained his actions on the practice floor:

"A lot of it is true, but you got to think, I haven't played basketball in so long and I'm so passionate and I love the game and I don't do it for any other reason except to compete and to go up against the best to try and prove I can hang. So all my emotion came out at one time. Was it the right way to do it? No. But I can't control that when I'm out there competing. That's my love of the game, that's raw me. Me at my finest, me at my purest. That's what you're going to get inside the lines."

The Timberwolves have explored trade possibilities for Butler, including a near-deal with the Miami Heat that Wojnarowski reported fell apart last weekend.

Charania noted indications right now are that Butler will begin the 2018-19 season in Minnesota and doesn't intend to sit out because "he's far too competitive to sit real games."

The T-Wolves will tip off the 2018-19 regular season Oct. 17 against the San Antonio Spurs.

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