Bulls

Jimmy Butler apparently went nuclear at Timberwolves practice and, hoo boy, the details are juicy

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USA Today

Jimmy Butler apparently went nuclear at Timberwolves practice and, hoo boy, the details are juicy

Things are going GREAT in Minnesota. 

I'll set the scene. We have the Timberwolves, fresh of signing Karl-Anthony Towns to a lucrative extension that made him the bonafide franchise centerpiece (as if there were any doubt), in the middle of training camp. You also have Jimmy Butler, who technically plays for the Timberwolves but is avoiding the team because he wants to be traded. Something about not liking KAT, or being sick of Andrew Wiggins jumpers, or valuing his knees in a way that head coach Tom Thibodeau clearly does not. 

Anyways, Butler apparently CRASHED A TEAM PRACTICE and I'll let Woj take it from here: 

Vociferous. Vociferous in every way.

Butler sat down with Rachel Nichols for a one-on-one interview after the now infamous practice.

It sounds like this story is far from over.

Jim Boylen defends Tom Izzo amid criticism over yelling at player

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USA TODAY

Jim Boylen defends Tom Izzo amid criticism over yelling at player

Legendary Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo has come under fire after the Spartans' first game of the NCAA Tournament for yelling at freshman Aaron Henry as he walked over to the bench while clearly upset, wagging his finger in Henry's face.

Izzo was still heatedmoments later in the huddle and appeared to lung at Henry before other players reached out to try and calm Izzo down.

In addition to former players that have come to Izzo's defense, Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen also defended Izzo on Friday.

I’m disappointed you can’t coach somebody hard these days without someone making a big deal about it,” Boylen said, via the Chicago Tribune's KC Johnson. 

Boylen continued: "He's direct and honest. He puts time into his guys for permission to be real. He lets guys come back at him and he goes at them. That's the relationship. He's not an absentee father. And guys love playing for him."

In the immediate days after Boylen assumed the head coach role with the Bulls, he had his own tense relationship with players and Boylen didn't back down on his tough-love stance then. His relationship with the Bulls roster seems to have improved significantly, particularly with star Zach LaVine seems who offered to pay a fine Boylen received for an incident during a game while defending the players.

Izzo addressed the incident after the game and was unapologetic in his response, noting the issues he was upset with Henry about were "effort-related."

"There were some things Aaron didn't do a very good job of... I did get after him and he did respond. And he did make a couple of big buckets. And he did make some big free throws but that's not good enough," Izzo told reporters after the game. "This is one-and-done time. The 'my-bads' are out the window... If they're 'my-bads' because I decided to jog back instead of sprint back, then it is your bad and you're going to hear about it. So that's what it was."

Izzo turned it on reporters saying it's simply holding players accountable.

"I get a kick out of you guys," Izzo said. "You get after someone because you're trying to hold them accountable, I don't know what kind of business you're in but I tell you what, if I was the head of a newspaper and you didn't do your job you'd be held accountable. That's the way it is."

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Sports Talk Podcast: Early tournament reaction, Bulls win second straight

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Podcast: Early tournament reaction, Bulls win second straight

Hub Arkush, Chris Bleck and Gabe Ramirez join Kap on the panel.

0:00- Bradley gives Michigan State a huge scare. Tom Izzo gets angry. And did Bradley help its brand by hanging with the Big Ten champs?

12:20- The Bulls win their 2nd straight game to avoid getting closer to the Bottom 3 in the NBA standings. Are they better off focusing on player development instead of trying to get better lottery odds?

19:00- Ichiro retires in his home country. Will he be a unanimous Hall of Famer?

21:30- Will Eloy Jimenez be able to handle the pressure that will come with his new contract?

25:30- Will the Cubs get in on extension season and extend either Kris Bryant or Javy Baez soon?

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: