Kevin Garnett Calls T-Wolves a 'S--t Storm' Amid Jimmy Butler Trade Controversy

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett (21) warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)
Paul Battaglia/Associated Press

As the Jimmy Butler saga rages on in Minnesota, Timberwolves legend and future NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett weighed in on the drama.

"I'm a T-Wolf for life, man," he told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. "I'm 'Sota for life. I've always wanted better for not only the city and the franchise, but [Andrew Wiggins], [Karl-Anthony Towns], those are my guys. I root for those guys. Gorgui Dieng. Those are my guys. I'm just hoping they can get through this rough patch and everybody can get on the same patch and figure it out. It's a s--t storm up there."

Garnett also offered his opinion on Butler's trade demands:

"I think both sides are a little delusional. I think Jimmy thinks his worth is a little more than what it is. He's a very good player. I don't see him on the (Kevin Durant) and LeBron (James) level. But if they are A-plus, he's definitely A, A-minus.

"I don't know if he had the power to come out and force a trade like this. He can be disruptive, but I don't know if he actually had the clout to come out and do that. I don't know if Jimmy has enough juice to be that."

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The Butler situation has played out like a soap opera. Butler demanded a trade in a September meeting with Tom Thibodeau, a move the head coach and president of basketball operations wasn't keen on making but one that owner Glen Taylor wanted to push forward.

No move has been made yet, however, and Butler eventually reported to practice this week. He didn't do so quietly, however. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Butler was "vociferous and intense throughout the scrimmages, targeting [Thibodeau], general manager Scott Layden and teammates, including Towns and Wiggins, league sources said."

What effect that practice had is up for debate. Wojnarowski reported that "many of the Minnesota players left practice energized by Butler's performance, mesmerized with him taking several end-of-the-bench players and running the table in scrimmage games against the regulars, league sources said."

And Butler himself told The Jump's Rachel Nichols he believed Thibodeau loved the confrontation from practice.

"And right now I know Thibs and he's in there by himself, he locked his door and he's smiling and he's laughing," he said. "Thibs, I know you man, I know you. He's like, 'Yeah, I've got him back.'"

Butler then called a players-only meeting, though Jeff Teague and player development coach John Lucas III denied it happened:

And so the saga rages on, and Garnett said he understood the passions and tensions in play.

"You don't think that I went crazy sometimes? Man, I was a damn Tasmanian devil," he said. "I would say s--t at [Kevin] McHale. I would say s--t at Flip [Saunders]. But it was all to motivate all of us. We had a big game against Chicago and I'm just raising the level to what I'm expecting the next day to be like."

What he doesn't want to see, however, is Butler hurt his reputation over the situation.

"I never want a person like Jimmy, who has a lot of upside and a lot of value and a lot of equity that he's built for himself, get dismantled or get depreciated because of his actions," he said. "This is clearly frustration. This is clearly him trying to want something better, at least that's what you hope, versus it being personal and ego-driven."

But he also emphasized that he didn't like the public nature of the drama going down in Minnesota.

"What's really the s--t storm is that can't nobody keep s--t in practice," he said. "What goes on in practice should always stay in practice. And what goes on between two conglomerates as businesses should always stay [private]. Everything is so goddamn public now."