It’s no secret there is no love lost between Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler. Part of the reason why Butler demanded a trade out of Minnesota was because he was “fed up” with Towns’ nonchalant attitude.
Butler eventually ended up on the Miami Heat – after a brief layover in Philadelphia – and hasn’t looked back. He inked an $184 million extension that keeps him in South Beach through the 2025-26 season. Water under the bridge, right?
Maybe not. Towns appears to be holding onto hostilities towards Butler dating back to their time together in Minnesota. Towns went on a rant about dysfunction in the organization during Timberwolves’ Media Day, including some thinly veiled shots at Butler who was accused of calling the 6-foot-11 center “soft.”
“I’ve been everything from defamed by teammates, been a scapegoat for people, COVID, my own personal life,” Towns told reporters, via The Athletic. “I mean, s*** hasn’t been easy since I came here, but the only thing that’s constant is me being a constant professional in all of that. I’m not going to ever change to fit an agenda or narratives that people have for me or they want me to be.”
Butler has never gone on record with criticism of Towns, but the on-court cameras caught him referring to the All-Star big man as a “loser” and “soft as a baby” when the Heat and Timberwolves met in May 2021.
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Butler: No Big Three in Miami
Butler showed up at Heat training up sporting a brand new braided hairdo. His revamped squad – strengthened by the additions of Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker, Markieff Morris – means business in 2021. Don’t call them the “Big Three,” though. Butler doesn’t like it.
“I don’t believe the hype of a Big Three,” Butler told reporters on Tuesday (Sept. 28), via the Sun-Sentinel. “Yeah, we’re probably the three leaders that everybody’s going to look towards and look at, but we’re not going to be able to do it without everybody else around it.”
Miami, of course, invented the idea of a “Big Three” when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh all teamed up in 2010. Butler might be tapering expectations by avoiding the label.
Dwyane Wade Gets New Heat Ink
Speaking of the Big Three, Wade has some fresh new ink on his chest that pays tribute to the Heat, USA Basketball, and Marquette University. The future Hall of Famer played 17 NBA seasons, including 15 in Miami where he won three championships (2006, 2012, 2013). He is widely regarded as one of the greatest guards of all-time.
Butler, a fellow Marquette alum, has long been a Wade fan and expressed appreciation for him in 2019 during his retirement tour.
“That was special to see my brother get as much love as he deserves,” Butler said, via the Sun-Sentinel. “He’s one of the greatest to play this game. I’m just so happy he gets to go out on his terms. He’s happy, he’s healthy and he had the whole city behind him. He had at least one person on our bench behind him. I’m just so happy to be able to witness that one more time.”