Skip to main content

Jimmy Butler Challenges Timberwolves Teammates, Coaches In Return To Practice: 'You F------ Need Me'

Butler remains intent on being dealt from Minnesota before the season opener.

Jimmy Butler rejoined the Timberwolves for practice on Wednesday after previously sitting out due to a trade request and quickly made his presence felt at Minnesota's facility. 

The four-time All-Star reportedly "verbally challenged teammates, coaches" and the Minnesota front office, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Butler called out head coach Tom Thibodeau, general manager Scott Layden and teammates Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns

Butler's fire gave way to a dominant practice performance, which left coaches and teammates "largely speechless." During a team scrimmage, Butler reportedly screamed at Layden, "You f---ing need me. You can't win without me."

Butler saved some of his harshest comments for Wiggins and Towns, yelling to those at practice, "they aint s---, they soft!" per Yahoo Spots' Chris Haynes. During a Towns post-up of Butler, the swingman reportedly shouted "He can’t do s--- against me."

After cooling off post-practice, Butler sat down with ESPN's Rachel Nichols and discussed the motives behind his taunts. 

"All my emotion came out at one time," Butler told Nichols. "That's my love of the game, that's the raw me, me at my finest."

You can watch Butler's full comments on Wednesday's practice below.

The Timberwolves cancelled Thursday's practice following Butler's outburst. They did not hold any media availability to discuss the situation, either. 

The Marquette product has been absent from team activities since requesting a trade from the Timberwolves on Sept. 18. He has reiterated his desire to be dealt before the season begins in multiple meetings with Thibodeau. 

Butler's most likely destination could be Miami. The Heat and Timberwolves came close to a deal on Oct. 7, and have re-opened negotiations after the original trade framework fell apart at "the 11th hour."

Butler averaged 22.2 points per game in his first season with Minnesota in 2017-18. The Timberwolves exited the playoffs in the first round, losing to the Rockets in five games.