It is well-known that Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler has a competitive spirit that is both his greatest virtue and his most misunderstood “defect”. In part, that side of him was what ended up eroding various relationships in his previous stops in the NBA.
Despite all this, the All-Star obviously found his place in the world in South Florida. His mindset fit glove-in-hand with the Heat’s culture. Yet there was a time when he was viewed as a malcontent and bad teammate.
Another bit of that reputation was debunked given from a very unlikely source.
Karl-Anthony Towns recognized his former teammate and let it be known that Butler was a vital part of that last Minnesota team that ended up going to the playoffs back in 2017-18.
‘Giving Flowers’ To Jimmy
“Thank you, Jimmy. Appreciate you,” Towns said in an interview he gave on Twitch.
“No matter if we didn’t see eye-to-eye, alright, f**k it. We didn’t see eye-to-eye. We don’t have to, but we got the job done on that court. We gave the Wolves a chance to be in the playoff. We did that.”
For Towns, this approach is about “spreading love and appreciation”.
For many, this is part of the new perspective that Towns has on life ever since his mother passed away a little over a year ago. This was the life event that changed him and now you see more of these types of attitudes.
The Past Relationship Was Not The Best
During their time in Minnesota, both players did not see eye-to-eye. One of the reasons Butler wanted out of that organization was the fact that he did not rate both Towns and Andrew Wiggins’ respective work ethic. That did not mean that he did not respect the talent that both of them had.
After Butler left Minnesota after being traded to Minnesota, these two did have a couple of encounters.
The most recent one was last season in a Heat win over the Timberwolves 121-112. In that game, Butler just made minced meat out of the T-Wolves star both from a basketball standpoint while trash-talking viciously against Towns.
Could this be the proverbial “smoking of the peace pipe” amongst two players that were not the best of friends even in the best of times?
It is possible.
Butler Also Praises A Former Teammate
The exchange of pleasantries was not a one-way street in this situation. Butler was also very candid about his feelings towards them.
This was confirmed by Andre Iguodala. The 37-year-old veteran returned to the Warriors after a season and a half with the Heat, but there was one thing he remembered from his time in South Florida that helped him view Andrew Wiggins in a totally different light.
Last week, Iguodala mentioned that it was Butler that praised his current teammate over at Golden State. More importantly, Butler said he “really liked playing with Wiggins.
“That was all I needed to hear to be honest, because Jimmy doesn’t like anybody,” Iguodala continued via CBS. “So when Jimmy said he liked Wiggs, I kind of started looking at it different.”
With all of this being mentioned, there is a question that can be asked. Was Minnesota during that time as bad as was being reported?