One of my favorite NBA players to read up on is Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler because of the path he took to get to where he is today. Of all the All-Star caliber players in the league, Butler comes across as possibly the most “self-made.” Linked below are a couple of my favorite articles on Butler’s work ethic, hard-driving ways, and his relationship with Tom Thibodeau.
“I understand the chip he’s had on his shoulder, I understand his defiance toward his opponents and that type of thing. It’s what’s made him great,” said Paxson, who traded Butler this summer. “We’ll miss that (in Chicago). That’s what makes him great. You have to feel good about the people in our league that make themselves into great players, the ones that have earned everything that they’ve been given. That’s unique. A lot of guys tend to lay down sometimes and have these expectations to be given things, and he certainly hasn’t done that. He just continues to work at it and find ways to be better.”
Meet Jimmy Butler, the basketball-obsessed alpha the Timberwolves needed (LINK)
“What can I say, in some ways I’m proud of it and in other ways I’m not proud of it,” Williams says. “I was hard on him. I was hard on him in every way. I never gave him any relief in any facet of his life, and to his credit he never wanted one. I think as our time together transpired, he expected that. He wanted that. He wanted that as an example to everybody else on the team.”
Jimmy Butler has something to say (LINK)
So when Thibodeau called on draft night to inform Butler that Minnesota had acquired him, they discussed how the organization needed Butler’s culture-impacting traits. His old head coach welcomed Butler’s ways, and then one word ended the phone call: championship.
Jimmy Butler leading the young Timberwolves the only way he knows (LINK)
At first McNeilly told him to grab two or three offensive rebounds per game, and he did that. Then, McNeilly told him to smother the other team’s best player, and he did that. Before a game against Connecticut, McNeilly asked if he wanted to check clips of Jeremy Lamb, an obvious matchup. But the Huskies’ best player was a 6’1″ point guard, not a 6’5″ wing. “No,” Butler replied. “Kemba Walker.”
Don’t try to change Jimmy Butler (LINK)