Jimmy Butler sounds ready for another reunion with Tom Thibodeau.
Playing under new Knicks coach in Chicago and Minnesota, Butler – who has trusted Thibodeau with his development from the first-round pick to the five-time All-Star – said he believes RJ Barrett’s new core and Mitchell Robinson can make progress similar to Thibodeau’s teachings.
He will do very well. He will turn those young boys into some real players; some superstars, some All-Stars, “Butler told Thibodeau.” I know he’s itching for that. I know he was preparing for it. When you talk about Thibs and the big stage, I think they go hand in hand. “
After four seasons together in agoikago ̵1; during which Butler went from a two-point average in the game as a rookie to 20 points in 2014-15 – Thibodeau, as coach and president of basketball operations, brought Butler to Minnesota in a trade 2017. In that season, the duo helped produce the Timberwolves’ first play off in 14 years.
However, Butler’s dissatisfaction with the team led to a trade request ahead of the upcoming training camp, leading to Thibodeau’s fire in the middle of the road during his third season as coach. After landing in Philadelphia, Butler pleaded guilty to the way the situation unfolded.
“I’m going to take all the blame. I’m sure he means he’s going to take it,” Butler said last year. “But as I tell everyone, Thibs is a big part – and you can say I’m smiling because it’s the truth – who I am today as a player. He gave me a chance as he did not let me play during the first two years. But then he saw something in me and left me shaking a little. “
However, the distance made Butler’s heart become more lovable. Last year, Butler also accepted the game challenge for the intensive coach, suggesting that the style is more appropriate for college basketball.
“Hell yes, it’s different,” Butler said. “[Butler’s former coach] Buzz Williams, who is very much like Thibs in the sense that they will shout, they will mother, you will say everything, so they will talk to you. I think in the championship you can not really talk to anyone like him. Do you understand where I mean? “