Playing for Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau is not an easy task. He is often criticized for giving players heavy workloads even though some think that this approach puts his men’s health at risk. In Thibodeau’s most recent challenge, he was given the responsibility to develop a young Wolves team and improve their rebuild’s results.

Minnesota looks much better than last year, and a lot of this is thanks to Thibodeau’s voice. The offseason additions of Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson also helped set Thibs’ system quicker; now, with players that had spent multiple years playing for him, young guys like Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are adjusting quicker.

Under Thibodeau, Jimmy Butler became the player he is today. In a recent interview with TNT Analyst David Aldridge, Butler spoke about his experience with coach Tom. When asked how much did he want to be vocal with this young Wolves team, and how much did he want to lay back and let Thibodeau lay the foundation, Butler answered

“I think there’s a fine line in between both. Everybody gets tired of the yelling, the antics that Thibs has — which isn’t a bad thing. That’s Thibs.

Jimmy Butler
Zhong Zi/Getty Images
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He’s into the game, he’s into the scouting report, to all of the good stuff. But at times, you need somebody else to relay a message — the same message that he’s getting across.”

Having someone yelling at you 24/7 might not be the best way to quickly correct mistakes and weaknesses, which is why Butler tries to help out. It is not as easy as it sounds, though:

“Don’t get me wrong; it’s difficult at times. I think it’s just making me better, in that part of communicating with my guys, my peers, and trying to get across the point that he wants. A lot of it is a lot of talking, through Thibs, for Thibs — sometimes against Thibs. A lot of time talking to everybody.”

Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler