CAMDEN, N.J. — With his upper-respiratory infection gone and back practicing, Jimmy Butler finally got his chance to respond.
It’s been three days since a report surfaced that Jimmy Butler “aggressively challenged" Brett Brown and that the dialogue between the two was “disrespectful” during a film session in Portland.
Brown stated his case again Saturday that the report was “overrated” and normal dialogue between NBA player and NBA coach in 2019. Butler agreed.
We’ve been talking damn near every day. Trying to figure everything out and how we can make everyone work. Not just for myself but for everybody. I’m telling you it’s a player and a coach conversation. I think that if you’ve followed me long enough, you know if I was being confrontational because I don’t think I could hide it very well.
The report stated that a big point of contention was the Sixers' lack of pick-and-rolls, something Butler used much of in the past and has had success with. The Sixers use more dribble handoffs, something that Brown acknowledged Butler is not a huge fan of.
While Butler mentioned that he believed the issues to be more on the defensive end and more about critiquing himself, he did voice his opinion about his usage during the aforementioned film session.
I think what the whole thing was, I would say with me being here a lot of things are different. A lot of things that you used to run with the other personnel that was here — I’m a different player than [Robert Covington] and Dario [Saric]. That’s all I was saying, and then other guys had something else to say, but I think in the end it was a positive thing because everybody got what they needed to say out.
It’s not as if Butler and the team haven’t had success since his arrival. It’s been just 21 games and the team is 15-6 with the four-time All-Star in the lineup. Butler admitted that the team has been struggling to find consistency and that’s been a point of frustration.
Butler and Brown speak 1-on-1 "damn near every day," but Butler said he wouldn’t characterize any of the conversations he had with Brown as “confrontational.”
Butler wasn’t sure where the report came from and he didn’t seem to care. What he does know is how all this attention will stop: Winning.
To tell you the truth, I hope my teammates, the staff, organization — I hope they don’t pay attention it like I don’t pay attention to it. Obviously everybody wants to tell me about what’s going on. I can’t help what people think. I go back to what I always say: People are going to like me — great. People are going to dislike me — OK. I can’t control that. I can only control who I am, who I know I am, what the people around here think and know me to be and then try to be the best basketball player out there on the court …
“I’m telling you, you’re all not going to be talking about that no more [with more wins]. We just got to keep winning. Win three, four, five in a row and y’all going to go, ‘Oh, we’re on a win streak now!’ Not going to worry about anything that happened in a film session.
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