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Pat Riley didn’t MF Tom Thibodeau after Timberwolves asked for more in Jimmy Butler deal


Despite the recent rumor that Miami Heat president Pat Riley called fellow counterpart Tom Thibodeau a “m*****f***er” after the Minnesota Timberwolves backed out of a nearly-shook deal for All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The initial anecdote, shared by ESPN’s Jorge Sedano on ESPN Radio Los Angeles claimed Riley was Irate at Thibodeau, who asked for additional compensation besides prized three-and-D wing Josh Richardson, Dion Waiters and a protected first-rounder.

“Here’s what’s happening. There’s been a couple of different incarnations of this deal. The first one, the Heat didn’t want to take back Gorgui Dieng. Then, the next incarnation of the deal was ‘OK forget it, let’s just do it straight up, just for Jimmy on your end.’

“So they finally relented on Josh Richardson, they were giving them Josh Richardson. Then Dion Waiters was going to be the cap filler, and then a protected first-round pick. The medicals were exchanged, which, really, generally in the NBA means this is a done deal. And then, Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley literally — I was told — called him a motherbleeper and hung up the phone.”

A source familiar with the Heat’s dealings with the Timberwolves said Riley insists he did not offer such a reaction, per Winderman. Though any team would show some frustration after having a deal so close to completion, only to fall apart for further compensation.

Rumor had it that it was owner Glen Taylor who turned down the deal from above, while counter-reports claim he wouldn’t do so, still looking to trade Butler.

There are differing versions, depending on the local media — Miami protecting the Heat’s interest while Minnesota protects its own. National media have also gotten its fair share of scrutiny after Jeff Teague refuted a previous report by Shams Charania of The Athletic claiming the Timberwolves held a players-only meeting following a practice fiasco led by Butler on Wednesday, prior to his interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.