Zach Lavine may not be in Minnesota anymore, but he can still see what’s happening to his former teammates on the Timberwolves. Lavine, like everybody else in the NBA world, has been sitting and watching as Jimmy Butler rips apart the Wolves with his trade demands and accusations that their young players aren’t competitive enough.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins have received the brunt of Butler’s criticism so far, but Lavine says Butler’s accusations don’t add up in his experience. Lavine was asked about the situation with his former teammates and he decided to come to their defense. Lavine showed his support of Wiggins and Towns while subtly denying what Butler had said about them.
Though Lavine doesn’t mention Butler by name, it’s pretty clear who he’s talking about when he mentions those in the “organization.”
“KAT and Wigs are some of my good friends,” LaVine said. “Wigs just had his newborn baby and congratulations to him on that. And KAT is a really laid back dude, but they are extremely competitive at the same time. They work hard. I feel like they are getting some flack because some people are saying they don’t work hard. People in the organization are saying that. But I think they are extremely hard workers.
It makes sense why Lavine would come to the defense of his former teammates. He did say they’re his friends after all. He also spent a single season under Tom Thibodeau before he was shipped out to Chicago for Thibs’ former player in Butler. This probably doesn’t mean anything, and Lavine seems perfectly happy in Chicago, but he probably isn’t going to take the side of Thibs and Butler when they were both partially responsible for him originally being traded in the first place.
It would be interesting to hear what Lavine has to say about his former coach, and Butler, in greater detail but all he wanted to do here was come to the support of his friends. Props to him for doing so, because right now Towns and Wiggins can use all the support they can get. Butler has largely dominated the story in Minnesota and it doesn’t look like he’ll be leaving anytime soon.