Minnesota’s Coaches Loved Jimmy Butler’s Return, Calling It The ‘Best Practice They’ve Had’

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The Timberwolves’ practice on Wednesday was quite the event as Jimmy Butler returned to the team for the first time since his trade request and, essentially, raised hell.

Butler was not shy about coming after just about everyone, telling GM Scott Layden, “you f*cking need me, you can’t win without me,” going after Tom Thibodeau and, in the least surprising news, targeting Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns on the court as he beat the starters with the third-string. Towns didn’t respond well to that, per reports, which would seem like something the coaching staff wouldn’t be too thrilled about considering he’s their best player who just inked a monster extension.

Instead, the Timberwolves coaching staff apparently loved every minute of it. Stan Van Gundy made his debut as an ESPN analyst on Wednesday night on SportsCenter and told Sage Steele that he talked with members of the Minnesota coaching staff, who apparently told him it was the “best practice of the season.”


I have no doubts it was an intense practice, but it is unbelievable, even for Tom Thibodeau, that he could view this as a positive, much less the best practice of the season. Butler came in late, by all reports, torched the starters with the third-string all while sh*ttalking the two most important young players on the roster, who are both under contract for the foreseeable future, and then did a sitdown interview with ESPN that he scheduled, purposefully, to be after all of this. And the Minnesota staff has the gall to imagine this was a good thing.

It truly takes a galaxy brain to be like, “oh yes, this was fantastic,” when Butler was, mere hours later, on TV calling out Towns and Wiggins for not playing hard enough and saying he didn’t think this could be fixed in Minnesota because the organization isn’t honest enough. Butler himself even noted he was sure Thibodeau loved how practice went later in his interview.


Van Gundy went on to say the Wolves still want to make things work with Butler, who literally 20 minutes before that was on the exact same TV program as Van Gundy saying this:

“It’s not fixed. It could be. It could be, but do I think so? No. Because you gotta be honest. You have to be honest. Do I think so? No, because I’m being honest with you. But is everybody going to be honest? No, no. Everybody’s not going to be honest.”

At this point, it’s hard to see how Thibodeau stays on board in Minnesota after all this, but who knows. Maybe they’ll just trade Towns and Wiggins and keep Butler and let Thibs live out his Timber-Bulls dream for real.