Jimmy Butler strongly disagrees with John Calipari saying he bullied Karl-Anthony Towns
Jimmy Butler’s tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves was clouded with his poor fit alongside young players like Karl-Anthony Towns, even having his college coach, University of Kentucky’s John Calipari, saying Towns was bullied by the now-Philadelphia 76ers forward. Butler took exception to that:
“Whatever. That’s OK,” Jimmy Butler told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan after hearing of Calipari’s comments. Yet the more he thought about it, he decided it wasn’t okay.
“I don’t think bully is a good word,” he continued. “I tell it how it is. Whenever I was in college, I had [Marquette coach] Buzz Williams to tell me how it was. I didn’t have a bunch of McDonald’s All-Americans like [Calipari] has. So, he can look at it a different way. “
Butler paused, which could have ended that segment of the conversation, but ultimately he gave an even bigger piece of his mind:
“He can call me a bully, but when [Calipari] sees me, I’m gonna confront him about it,” Butler said. “If I’m a bully, I’m gonna bully him, too. I’ll tell him how I feel, just like I’d tell anyone else.
“I don’t care if he’s some big head coach. I’m not bullying nobody. I’m just keeping it real. Some of these guys aren’t used to it. When you have as much talent as [Karl] has had throughout his life, guys don’t keep it real with him. I do.”
Butler does have a point. Even if his approach style can be abrasive, he has a track record of telling guys the things they need to hear.
For further proof, it wasn’t until Jimmy Butler was traded to the Sixers that Karl-Anthony Towns started playing like a man possessed — something Butler had wanted to see all along from him when he was in Minnesota.