Paul George of Oklahoma City Thunder sides with Jimmy Butler

Ruben Holloway
October 15, 2018

"He can definitely rub you the wrong way if you're not willing to put the work in, so a lot of what is going on [in Minnesota] is not surprising to me".

Garnett returned to Minnesota for the final season and a half of his career and acted as a mentor to Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, the young, well-paid Wolves who are seen as being part of Butler's issues with the team.

Just this past week he made a surprise appearance at Wolves practice, where he repeatedly challenged everyone on the team, shouting, "You (bleeping) need me".

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Butler told ESPN he was waiting for one of his teammates to stand up to him, but it never happened.

The Heat is not pushing to resume discussions with the Timberwolves on a Butler trade, as the Miami Herald reported Thursday. "What goes on in practice should always stay in practice".

In an interview with The Athletic, Garnett described the situation in Minnesota as "a storm up there", two days after Butler caused a stir at practice by reportedly challenging teammates, coaches and front office executives with verbal jabs.

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"We don't got no more time to be here saying, 'Aw, it's OK; it's preseason.' This momentum we're riding right now, this wave we're riding, it's not good".

Perhaps it is now safe to say that the guys in Minnesota are not a fan of Butler's hard-hitting ways. "I was just used to playing guys growing up, talking trash and having fun at the same time".

It's clear that Thibodeau is attempting to do quite a bit of damage control for both himself and Butler. Thibodeau has said any deal must be in the best interest of the Timberwolves.

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"Some things that have been reported are correct, some are not", he said. "It's not uncommon when players scrimmage that there will be some talk". They will take up a big chunk of the Wolves' salary cap going forward, and if their progress stalls, the Wolves' fortunes could as well. Asked whether he felt Butler was displaying leadership in what he did, Thibodeau gave a nuanced answer.

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