JJ Redick played next to Jimmy Butler for less than one full season with the Philadelphia 76ers, yet that short time was enough for the veteran marksman to assess his character as a teammate. The 35-year-old marksman told ESPN’s Zach Lowe on his podcast, The Lowe Post, that he’s not buying into the narrative about Butler being “a bad guy.”
Via Kevin Kinkead of Crossing Broad:
“I love Jimmy and would play with Jimmy again,” said Redick. “I don’t know how much longer I’m going to play basketball, but if there was ever an opportunity to link up with him again, I’d be happy to jump on board with that. He is, I think, in the upper tier of two-way players and really in the upper tier of offensive players, period.
“I talk with my NBA buddies whether they are front office guys, former players, we talk about team building all the time. We always put our GM hats on. I do think when you’re just throwing pieces together in the middle of the season that there are growing pains, specifically on the basketball side of things. The personnel and pieces have to fit, and if there were any growing pains that’s essentially what it boiled down to. The narrative about Jimmy being a bad guy, I just don’t buy it. It’s not true.”
Butler’s competitive fire can at times rub people the wrong way, but that tends to be young players for the most part more than veterans, who are often responsive to his drive and sense of ownership of the team’s wins and losses.
The small forward had the chance to re-sign with the Sixers, but opted to work out a sign-and-trade to wind up with the Miami Heat, a team most think will be a perfect fit in terms of ideology with the two-way star.