Jimmy Butler isn’t traveling with the Minnesota Timberwolves right now as he recently had surgery to repair a meniscus injury, but that doesn’t mean he’s not keeping a watchful eye on his team.
The All-Star guard made a rare Twitter appearance on Friday night while watching Minnesota’s 116-108 loss to the Jazz. Having not sent a tweet since December 2016, no one was expecting any commentary from Butler during the game, but a major fourth quarter incident between Jeff Teague and Ricky Rubio drew Butler back into the Twittersphere to fire off some strong opinions.
Butler didn’t pop onto social media to light into his team, but instead came in praise of Teague for his tackle on Rubio that earned the point guard a flagrant two and an ejection. While most were not pleased with Teague’s play that was definitely not a basketball play, Butler appreciated the fire and intensity and made sure everyone knew that.
The hit also set off a minor skirmish between the two teams, including an exchange between Jae Crowder and Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau, to which Butler took exception to anyone stepping to his coach.
Butler also took time to respond to a Wolves fan that didn’t appreciate his tweet praising Teague for the tackle, letting the fan know Rubio isn’t as good a player as himself, Teague or on the level of Thibs.
Crowder wasn’t @’d by Butler, but he was alerted to the tweet after the game and made sure to let Butler know he was about that action if Jimmy wanted it.
It’s an especially interesting beef considering Crowder and Butler were teammates together in college at Marquette, but clearly years apart in the pros has made them willing adversaries now.