SportsPulse: Jeff Zillgitt and Trysta Krick put their prediction hats on for some bold takes as the NBA season gets set to begin.
If Jimmy Butler suits up for the Minnesota Timberwolves for the team’s home opener on Friday, he expects the boo birds to be out in full force.
And it sounds like he couldn’t care less.
Asked if he anticipates a negative reaction from T’Wolves fans, Butler told The Athletic, “Sure. Go ahead, boo me. It ain’t going to change the way I play. That’s going to make me smile more. So please, come on with it.”
Butler, the disgruntled star who has created his fair share of headlines since requesting a trade from the organization last month, is expected to play in the team’s season opener in San Antonio on Wednesday, according to coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau. The 29-year-old has not played in the preseason.
Butler has been away from the Timberwolves for much of these past few weeks, but he made his presence felt during his first practice last Wednesday, yelling at teammates and coaches before sitting down for an interview with ESPN to share his side of the story.
“But you’ve got to think, I haven’t played basketball in so long and I’m so passionate,” Butler told ESPN. “I love the game, and I don’t do it for any other reason except to compete and go up against the best and try to prove I can hang. All my emotion came out at one time.
“Was it the right way to do it? No. But I can’t control that when I’m out there competing. That’s my love of the game. That’s raw me, me at my finest, me at my purest. That’s what you’re going to get inside the lines.
“I was honest. Was I brutally honest? Yes. But that’s the problem. Everyone is so scared to be honest with one another.”