The Minnesota Timberwolves took on the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night in their home opener, and when small forward Jimmy Butler and head coach/president Tom Thibodeau were introduced, the crowd booed them both very loudly.
Butler requested a trade from the Timberwolves almost five weeks ago and did an interview with ESPN that many of the fans in Minnesota didn't appreciate. The four-time All-Star practiced with Minnesota last Friday and caused quite the stir. Butler went out of his way to challenge Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, and also cursed at Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden.
Here’s the Butler intro. pic.twitter.com/HjKe74fjWb
— RandBall (@RandBall) October 20, 2018
Wolves fans booed louder for Tom Thibodeau than Jimmy Butler.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) October 20, 2018
Apparently, there are a few fans at the game who are still rooting for Jimmy Butler. After Butler got a dunk off of a pass from Derrick Rose which put the team up 12 in the first half, some of the fans started chanting “MVP, MVP.”
This whole Butler saga has been crazy since day one and it just keeps getting stranger each and every day.
T-Wolves fans really went from boos to MVP chants in the same game 🤔 pic.twitter.com/U4D4ER3gvc
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 20, 2018
Butler can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019 if he declines his 2019-20 player option with the Timberwolves. The swingman reportedly told Thibodeau he will not re-sign with the club.
Last season, the 29-year-old Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. He shot 47.4 percent overall, 35.0 percent from beyond the arc and 85.4 percent from the free-throw line. Butler guided Minnesota to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.