It’s no secret that Jimmy Butler is not satisfied with being a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. Towards, the beginning of the season, Butler revealed that he wanted to be traded and provided the Minnesota franchise with a list of potential destinations he would consider signing a contract extension with. Unfortunately, the Twolves have not been satisfied with any of the trade offers that have been presented to them and Butler has been forced to play for the ball club.
The tension between the franchise and Butler on and off the court is remarkably evident. And now, Butler has revealed his intentions on whether or not he’ll be playing back-to-back games for Minnesota.
Jimmy Butler’s Message to the Media & Timberwolves
Following the Timberwolves 116-99 Friday night loss against the Golden State Warriors, Butler (21 points in 35 minutes) had some choice words for the media personnel who continuously badgered him about his stance with the team, his injuries, and whether or not if he’ll choose to sit out of particular games.
According to ESPN, this is what Butler had to say when asked if Tom Thibodeau or the front office decides whether he plays back-to-back games for the Wolves,
“I let them know… They don’t know how my body feels. So if I’m nicked up, then you can count on that. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t know what we plan on doing tomorrow. Obviously, I got to get some treatment along with a lot of other guys. But we’ll see whenever Sunday and Monday gets here.”
When asked if his decision to sit out of games had anything to do with an injury affecting his trade status or any potential deals, the tension in the room intensified as Butler added,
“I’m not worried about no deal. Injury or not, I got to take care of myself. I realize they have a job to do as an organization; I have one to do as a player. But if I’m not in the right with my body to go out there and do it, I don’t want to get hurt. I’ve been hurt almost every year now, so we’re going to take things with caution.”
When asked if any particular part of his body was injured Butler grew agitated, the tension in the room intensified and he stated the following,
“Why are you so worried about my (injury)? If all of this talk wasn’t going on and I sat out because my body was sore, you would not be asking me things like that.”
“So stop asking me questions about if I’m going to sit out or not. If I’m going to sit out, you probably won’t talk to me on the day I sit out; but if I do, then I do and you can create a story around it with a lot of made-up stuff like y’all normally do.”
Last Saturday, Oct. 20, Butler sat out a game against the Dallas Mavericks for precautionary reasons. The Timberwolves weren’t able to hold off the Mavericks and lost the game, 140-136.
The Wolves have upcoming back-to-back games against the Portland Trail Blazers (Nov. 4) and Los Angeles Clippers (Nov. 5), one of which Butler could possibly sit out of.
Jimmy Butler & Playing Through Injuries
Many would hope to believe that Jimmy Butler is being sincere in regards to taking precautionary measures in order to avoid further injury. But, it is understandable why the basketball community is skeptical about his reasons for sitting out of various games.
In the past, we’ve seen Butler consistently play through injury in order to ensure his team was achieving on the hardwood. But, what’s so different now?
With it being early in the season, fatigue shouldn’t be a factor and the general public is unaware of what exactly his injury status is. Butler claims that he is suffering from soreness but is he being truthful or trying to send the Timberwolves organization a message?
There’s no doubt that Jimmy Butler isn’t a bonafide alpha and a major asset in the NBA. It would be an honor for any team to have such a talented individual on their squad. But, with the Wolves not willing to give up the All-Star guard/forward, anything he does will be attached to the narrative of his dissatisfaction with the Minnesota Timberwolves and viewed as a protest to not being traded.
With that said, if Butler chooses to sit out a couple of games in order to avoid injury, so be it. His health is dependent on providing for himself, his family, and for all of us as basketball enthusiasts.