The Jimmy Butler saga

Jimmy Butler has made it clear that he wants a new team. That didn’t stop him from practicing - hard.

Minnesota Timberwolves swingman, Jimmy Butler has been looking for way out of Minny for much of the Summer. With the 2018-19 NBA season nearly upon us, he still has not been dealt. Coach and Basketball Operations President, Tom Thibodeau has been with Butler for a long time and originally was trying everything to keep him. Now that they are finally open to trading him, they are struggling to find a solid return.

The result is an unhappy Jimmy Butler still with the team. Debatably the top source for happenings in the National Basketball Association, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski or “Woj” is the man to listen for with any news on situations like these. Once Woj broke his Twitter silence to announce that Butler practiced for the first time with the team, we new things were going to get real.

Then the juicy stuff started coming in.

Butler’s return to the team was going to have an unavoidable awkwardness no-matter what. Things apparently went beyond awkward though, with emotions spilling over and confrontations between teammates, coach, and general manager.

From ESPN’s numerous reports on the situation, it sounds like between Butler’s verbal jabs was some of the hardest played basketball a Timberwolves practice has seen since Kevin Garnett.

Butler reportedly played alongside the team’s third-string players and soundly beat the regular starters. He was guarding the much larger Karl-Anthony Towns in the paint and succeeding. He was shining light on KAT and Andrew Wiggins’ lack of killer instinct.

The below interview between Jimmy and ESPN’s Rachel Nichols confirms the reports concerning how things went down. Butler is clearly displeased, believing that he is underappreciated as the hardest working player on his team. He says that Towns has the most talent and Wiggins has the most “God-given” ability with his long arms, large hands, and bounce. He has also made it clear who has the most fire.

Even if Butler is right about his running-mate’s lack of drive or the organization’s lack of appreciation for him, his response was perhaps a bit bold. Outplaying everyone in the gym and challenging teammates is one thing, but some of his comments towards ownership need some censoring. Regardless, Jimmy is clearly playing at his old All-Star level and looking to take a team with him to the top - whichever team that may be.

Many players may have left inspired by Jimmy Butler’s tenacity. By the end of the day though, the wound between Butler and the organization has not been mended. You know what that means? Unless a trade happens instantly, he’ll be back practicing with the team again today.

Update: It has been reported that the Timberwolves are not practicing today (10/11). There will be no media access either.

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Anthony Tolliver - Minnesota Timberwolves

The Basketball Movement talks with Springfield, Missouri's Anthony Tolliver following his signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The gyms at The Basketball Movement have hosted a lot of terrific players over the years. One of the most successful has to be NBA player, Anthony Tolliver.

Prior to owning the facility, Rob Yanders worked out there as a player. Even before all of Rob's improvements, the space was one of the best basketball facilities in the area. Working out here during his pro days led to Rob meeting and playing against fellow pro, Tolliver.

Though he is originally from Springfield, Tolliver lives with his family in Dallas most of the year. He says that he still can see the impact of The Basketball Movement through videos and its viral presence.

He (Rob) clearly has big dreams for this community as well. Giving back through knowledge is giving back the best you can, whether you have knowledge of engineering, basketball, whatever. He does a great job, especially with kids or individuals striving for scholarships or even pro ball.
— Tolliver on Rob Yanders

That is high praise from Anthony Tolliver, who gives back to our area himself whether it's basketball camps, real estate investments, etc. Tolliver says that it is important to never forget where you come from - he hasn't.

What's next for the sharpshooting big man?

There was one word that Anthony Tolliver used to describe himself: "Worker". His summer is filled with consistent workouts, usually at gyms/high schools near his home in Texas. "As you get older, it's more important to work smarter rather than harder" Tolliver said. "The older you get, it's important to be smart about how you approach an 82 game season."

Now a 10-year veteran with almost 600 NBA games under his belt, Tolliver is no stranger to NBA free agency. We asked him about his mindest amidst the uncertainty.

It’s always a struggle mentally, but I have been there many times. You know that you’ve done your work, so you just have to wait on the various team decisions.
— Tolliver on free agency

After agreeing to a new one-year contract, he is now set to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves for the second time in his career. He played two seasons for the Wolves previously from 2010-2012. Clearly they remember his three-point shooting, rebounding, and willingness to defend around the rim. He now comes to them as a strong veteran presence (38 percent career three-point shooting doesn't hurt either).

As for living in Minneapolis when the time comes, Tolliver says the players are on their own. He will likely find a house to rent with his wife and children and get up there a few weeks before training camp.

Asked about NBA Summer League, Tolliver gave a chuckle. "I'm definitely past that" he said. "I did that for about five seasons, but it's for the young guys. I'm glad it's over."

Advice and faith

Robert Yanders built The Basketball Movement on faith. He has explained vividly before that every piece of wood in his floors, his color scheme, everything is based around giving glory to the God that allows him to follow his dreams.

If you are familiar with Anthony Tolliver or follow him on any media outlets, you know that that same faith resides in him.

It is my foundation. I take it very seriously because it is my purpose on this Earth. I use my given skills with the knowledge of who I represent - I use my platform for His glory. It helps me stay confident and motivated - it is incredibly fulfilling to play in the NBA and use my platform in that way.
— Tolliver on his faith

We asked Tolliver for advice for current Basketball Movement players and he brought it back to working smarter not harder. "It isn't rocket science; there are no secret drills that will get you to the NBA."

Consistency - working daily on the right things was his best advice. "You could work for three hours on the wrong things. Work on what's important."

Take a page out of NBA forward Anthony Tolliver's book; come get in work at one of the Midwest's top facilities. The Movement has come a long way over the years, bringing a professional, urban basketball presence to the community. Contact us here to get started.

We wish Anthony Tolliver and the Minnesota Timberwolves the best of luck in this upcoming season!