That’s exactly what ESPN’s Sam Alipour did to new Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler and the results were entertaining.
The two spent the afternoon at Lake Independence canoeing and camping. Among the gems of the afternoon, we find out that Butler can’t swim and exactly how he feels about being traded by the Bulls.
Butler says he was in Paris with friends Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and James Harden when he got a call from his agent.
So I look over to D-Wade and I’m like, “Yo, D. I’m out. Minnesota.” He’s laughing: “Ha-ha, OK.” Then his phone blows up: Jimmy got traded to Minnesota. He looks over and I’m like, “Yeah, I just told you that.”
Then I got a call from Thibs — he’s excited, I’m excited, then outta nowhere he’s like, “We’ll talk about it later. Enjoy your time in Paris.” I was like, “What?” I thought he’d want me to fly back and work out 16 times.
When asked why he thought the Bulls traded him, he responded:
I probably did a lot of things that they didn’t like — like maybe the way I would talk to my peers or coaches. People don’t work as hard as I do. They don’t expect the same things out of the game that I do. And I said from the beginning it was either gonna be me or the Fred Hoiberg route. And rightfully so, they took Fred. Good for them. But I got that game marked on my calendar. Feb. 9, baby — I’m back. Oh, man, they better hope I go 0-for-30, ’cause every basket I score, I’m looking over at the bench and I got something to say. But I’m so happy to be here. Sometimes you just gotta appreciate it, man.
The move to Minnesota reunites Butler with head coach Tom Thibodeau who drafted him in Chicago. He says it’s different this go around, however.
I won’t lie: Couldn’t stand him. I never use the word “hate,” but he was right there. I worked so hard, but he wouldn’t play me. Finally my time presented itself, and I got a little bit of, “What’s up, Jimmy?” I’m like, “I’m moving up!” Now he’s my guy.
He also adds that the coach is more personable and takes more of an interest in players beyond the court and drills.
Despite the Timberwolves 13-year absence from the playoffs, Jimmy feels this young, energized squad has the makings of a championship team.
That makes Jimmy Butler “happy.” Flip the page to watch his Minnesota wilderness excursion.