Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler isn't concerned with his usual brash intensity becoming an issue with his teammates, only a week removed from berating everyone present in the practice facility before taking off for an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols.
The Timberwolves stunk through the course of the preseason, failing to jell or produce any signs of an identity at either end of the floor. Enter Jimmy Butler, the one identity who has been present all along in the minds of every player in the roster, bound to bring his usual competitive self and inject it into his teammates' veins.
“I think we’ll bring it,” said Butler prior to Wednesday's season opener against the San Antonio Spurs, according to Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. “If not you’ll see me yelling at people. That’s what I’m supposed to do. You’ll see me talking to some guys nicely, that’s what I’m supposed to do.”
Butler agreed to play through the regular season while the front office explores trade possibilities and awaits a more substantial offer to come for his services. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have yet to play a single game with Butler on the floor since Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs, making this a somewhat murky transition with no continuity.
“No nerves, just want to hoop and be out there with my soldiers, go to war, try to the best of my ability help us win,” said Butler, not worried as to how the team will play with limited practice. “No. They know what I bring to the table. I know what they bring to the table.”
Minnesota will take on a hobbled Spurs team, who have lost three guards in a span of three weeks, losing starter Dejounte Murray to a torn ACL, as well as rookie Lonnie Walker IV and second-year point guard Derrick White to a meniscus tear and a plantar fascia tear, respectively.