Jimmy Butler joined former 76ers teammate JJ Redick on The JJ Redick Podcast With Tommy Alter and discussed the frustration he experienced in Philadelphia.
“Hell yeah, it was difficult. It was so different," Butler said. "On any given day, me as a person, as a player, I didn’t know who the f--- was in charge. I think that was my biggest thing."
Butler acknowledged that there was no clear voice of leadership amongst the Sixers' staff, saying he "didn’t even know who to talk to."
“I didn’t know what the f--- to expect whenever I would go into the gym, whenever I go onto the plane, whenever I go into the game," Butler said. "I was like, man. I think I was as lost as the next m-----f-----.”
Butler was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers from the Minnesota Timberwolves in November of the 2018-19 season. He made it clear that he did not get along with coach Brett Brown and said that he spoke up for other players to get more involved, specifically T.J. McConnell.
“I feel like, it’s okay to speak your mind,” Butler said. “Ain’t nothing wrong with it. The worst thing Brett could have said was f--- you. No, and you just go back to being quiet. At least, you get to say what you got to say."
The 76ers failed to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals that season after Kawhi Leonard made the game-winning shot for the Toronto Raptors to advance in Game 7. Butler was switched to the primary ballhandler in the postseason, which he felt was unfair to Ben Simmons.
“Til this day, I don’t think that was fair to switch over like that,” Butler said. "Even though we were playing great basketball, I don’t think it was fair, because the entire year Ben [Simmons] had the ball. So you mean to tell me that in one playoff series you just switch it up like that."
Butler was dealt to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade in the offseason. He said he knew he could not return to Philadelphia because Brown was questioned if he could "control" Butler.
“For one, I ain’t out there doing no bull---," Butler said. "But the fact, that you are trying to control a grown man. Nah, I’m cool, because I don’t do nothing that is drastically f------ stupidly crazy. I don’t know that. So sit here and come at me with you got to control him. We good."
Redick added that he knew he would not be returning to the team after his exit meeting with general manager Elton Brand. He now plays with the New Orleans Pelicans.
"He didn’t say that to me like ‘We don’t want you back,’" Redick said. “I just knew that I was only going to go back there if they had no other options, basically. That was vibe I got in that meeting. So I kind of knew.”
Butler is averaging 20.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists with the Miami Heat this season.