The honeymoon may be over for Jimmy Butler in Philadelphia, but Sixers coach Brett Brown says everything is right as rain in the City of Brotherly Love. Reports earlier in the week indicated that Butler had “aggressively” questioned his role on the team mere months after the Sixers mortgaged the future to trade for Butler with some assurances that he would re-sign long-term with the franchise.
It would make the third team Butler has clashed with in as many seasons after stiring up trouble in Chicago and in Minnesota after he was subsequently traded there last year. Butler was moved early this NBA season to Philadelphia and early returns were good, but Butler’s intensity and questioning Brown’s coaching could spell trouble for the firey guard.
But asked about the reports on Saturday, Brown said there was nothing “aggressive” about his meeting with Butler and explained that he has meetings with players all the time.
“We did have a meeting,” Brown said. “We have many meetings we have many meetings and they choose that meeting. And as I said to the team a moment ago and I’ll say it to the room now: I have had many meetings with Jimmy over the duration since I coached him. FaceTime, hotel meetings, late-night phone calls, and I enjoy it. Like, I don’t mind talking to my players.”
In other words, of all the meetings Brown has had during his coaching career, the one he had with Butler sure was one of them, but that’s about it as far as its noteworthiness. More specifically, nothing “aggressively” was discussed by anyone in the meeting that was reported earlier in the week.
“In that film session that was referenced, I didn’t feel like any of that crossed the line,” Brown said. “And if it did, it would have been dealt with quickly.”
Brown is trying very hard to be transparent here: a meeting happened. It just wasn’t that big of a deal, and perhaps he’s right! But Butler making hay about his role with a team is nothing new, and when news like that comes out it’s easy for many to fear the worst. Brown, however, says it’s much ado about nothing.
“And so people speculating about an argument and some type of aggressive disagreement…” Brown trailed off as he shook his head. “And if it were, I would have owned it. We would talk about it.”
Brown very much wants you to know that this wasn’t a big deal, and he’s been around the block quite a bit in his coaching career.
“I’ve had many conversations with other players through all my years of coaching that would warrant that type of description,” Brown said. “This wasn’t one of them for me.”
So everything is fine in Philadelphia, and Jimmy Butler isn’t upset about what’s happening on his basketball team. Move along folks. Nothing to see here.