Jimmy Butler empathizes with Sixers teammate Joel Embiid amid adjustment struggle
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid recently created some discomfort in Sixers nation by announcing that he is not happy with the way that he has been utilized on the floor. The quote was deemed by many as a semi-jab at Jimmy Butler, whose acquisition has led to a drop in Embiid’s offensive chances. Instead of taking it personally, Butler has taken the high road and expressed his empathy for the big man to the media.
Per Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer, Jimmy Butler knows Joel Embiid has nothing personal against him, saying:
“I know where his heart is, man. His heart is pure. He wants to win.” Butler said. “I can feel for him. It’s new to myself, it’s new to him, it’s new to everybody. But we’re okay. I know he wants to win. He wanted to play [against the Pistons]. Coach didn’t let him play. We need him long-term. He’s needed rest. He’s been doing a lot on both ends of the floor for this team. He’s our best player. I can understand being frustrated. He’s a hell of a player, and we’re figure out ways to make sure he’s always successful.”
Butler knows better than most the struggles of trying to mesh with teammates. Before being traded to the Sixers, his poor partnership with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves was widely publicized.
Jimmy Buckets has put this experience behind him and is ready to do whatever it takes to make the Sixers successful. So far, the team has gone 9-3 after the trade. If this record is without a fully engaged Embiid, the Sixers will be even better when he gets back on track.