When the news broke that there had been potential drama between Jimmy Butler and Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown, the reactions were mixed. Some were disappointed, others didn’t believe it and many weren’t the slightest bit surprised. From the sound of it, a few analysts who spoke on the subject recently can be added to the “not surprised” category.
On the podcast Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective, the ESPN analyst spoke with Ramona Shelburne and Nick Friedell. The trio talked about a wide range of topics, but late in the show came the discussion involving Butler and his reported argument with Brown.
Shelburne, who was the person that broke the original story, was asked about the details and at one point revealed interesting bits of info. According to the analyst, this blow up between Butler and Brown wasn’t the first that’s happened during the guard’s short tenure with the Sixers.
“I don’t think it was the first meeting or blow up that we’ve seen so far, it sounded like there had been a few others as well. We couldn’t nail down the exact reporting of when and where, etc. on those other ones, but I heard that there were others. But sort of the issue is not so much the details on what was said, how it was said, where – was it practice or film session – what’s at issue really is perception.” Shelburne stated.
She proceeded to point out a larger issue at hand, which has to do with the fact that there’s a question of whether Butler does or does not realize how his intensity comes across.
“Jimmy [Butler] either doesn’t realize that he comes across as being very angry and intense, or he does realize it and there’s a problem. One person described it as the scene in Jerry Maguire where Rod Tidwell, the Cuba Gooding Jr. character is like yelling and screaming and the question is ‘so how do you feel?’ and he goes ‘I feel like we’re finally starting to communicate!'” she concluded.
Original Jimmy Butler-Brett Brown Report
If you missed the original story, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported Butler challenged Brown about his role in the offense and was “disrespectful.”
Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Jimmy Butler has aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on his role in the offense, complicating an already tenuous chemistry among the team’s Big 3 hierarchy, league sources told ESPN.
While there were immediate concerns over the situation (and more now), the Sixers coach did his best to put them to rest shortly after. Brown spoke to Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer and stated that he didn’t think Butler crossed any line.
“I didn’t feel like any of that crossed the line,” Brown said. “And if it did, that would have been dealt with quickly. So people speculating about an argument or some type of aggressive disagreement — if it were, I would own it, and we would talk about it.
“I think from his standpoint, that is unfair.”
There seems to be a fair amount going on behind closed doors, and attempting to figure it out is a tall task. Regardless of what’s true and what isn’t, the coming months between Butler and the Sixers, as well as the outlook on his future, will be interesting to monitor.