All it took was a camping trip and the great outdoors to get Jimmy Butler fired up.
In an interview with ESPN’s Sam Alipour — where the two traveled just outside of Minneapolis to go canoeing and chat by the fire — the All-Star forward discussed his falling out with the Chicago Bulls and what led to his ending up with the Timberwolves.
“I probably did a lot of things that they didn’t like – like maybe the way I would talk to my peers or coaches,” Butler told Alipour. “People don’t work as hard as I do. They don’t expect the same things out of the game that I do. And I said from the beginning it was either gonna be me or the Fred Hoiberg route. And rightfully so, they took Fred. Good for them. “
Butler, who transformed himself into an all-around star with Chicago, was reportedly unhappy that the Bulls didn’t elect to build around him after a rebuilding year last season. Now, he’s more than ready to face off against his old squad in February.
“But I got that game marked on my calendar,” he added. “Feb. 9, baby – I’m back. Oh, man, they better hope I go 0-for-30, ’cause every basket I score, I’m looking over at the bench and I got something to say. But I’m so happy to be here. Sometimes you just gotta appreciate it, man.”
Minnesota, who at 7-3 is on a five-game win streak and sits just behind Houston and Golden State in the West, could be a playoff-bound team in 2018, at least according to Butler:
“Now, this organization hasn’t been to the playoffs in 13 years, but f— history,” he said. “It’s a new bunch of guys here, and we all say the same thing: f— history.”