James Johnson Claims The Wolves Have No ‘Fake Gym Rats’

James Johnson, now a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, spent three and a half seasons in Miami playing for the Heat. Miami is infamous for being one of the toughest organizations in the league — the Heat’s revered culture asks players to, among other things, be in top physical condition, which is a major demand to put on guys and has led to people falling out of favor quickly.

So when Johnson went to Minnesota, he brought some of that Heat culture with him, and so far, he’s been impressed with what he’s seen. Johnson was asked about the team’s response to losing and he actually praised how most of the players have responded. He even took it a step further and said there are “no fake gym rats” in Minnesota. Via Chris Hine of the Star Tribune.

“I don’t see any in here,” Johnson said. “It’s those guys that have a good game and then the next day they’ll be in the gym shooting. But if they have a bad game, you won’t see them. You might see them for the first two weeks, getting extra shots. And then you might not see them again. Those are the fake gym rats, man. It’s been consistent in here.”

Obviously everyone wants to know who Johnson is talking about, and while he’s had plenty of teammates who could theoretically fit this description, the juiciest name that could be speculated here would be Jimmy Butler. However, Johnson was asked about Butler when he made his return to Miami as a member of the Wolves back in February, and Johnson raved about how much he liked him. Via Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

“I loved him,” Johnson said. “I love his work ethic. I love what he stands for. Sometimes, he can be misconstrued. But me personally, one of the best teammates I ever had.

“He’s not for everybody. But I think what made him a great teammate for this situation, this organization and to me is he came into something that he felt was like him. Just like myself, I learned different things on my way to get to Minnesota that I don’t think that I would be able to help Minnesota with if I didn’t go through. But like I said, Jimmy when he got here was totally different than anything I’ve ever read on him.”

While Butler constantly tells everyone that he has this unreal work ethic, he does live up to a lot of his own hype. The issue likely comes from other players trying to emulate that, only to quit on it a few days later. If you’re going to be a gym rat, then actually be one.