Jimmy Butler spent the first six seasons of his career in Chicago before he was traded to Minnesota this summer as the Bulls kickstart a rebuilding process. Butler had become the face of the franchise, but his time in Chicago wasn’t without whispers of there being some discontent in the locker room and a bit of a divide at times between he (and last year Dwyane Wade) and some of the younger players on the roster.
On Tuesday, two of those young players got into a fight at practice when Bobby Portis punched Nikola Mirotic in the face, sending him to the hospital with facial fractures and a concussion. Portis was suspended for eight games, while it remains to be seen how long Mirotic will be out with his injuries.
Butler’s Timberwolves open their season on Wednesday night against the Spurs, but the former Bulls’ star was naturally asked about the incident and whether he was surprised by it, considering the reports that it was something brewing for some time between Portis and Mirotic. Butler wisely decided not to speak on his feelings about the incident, and instead joked that this time locker room tension in Chicago couldn’t be blamed on him.