A day after Jimmy Butler practiced for the first time with the Timberwolves and directed a barrage of invectives toward coach Tom Thibodeau, general manager Scott Layden and teammates, the Wolves cancelled practice Thursday and called off media availability.
So it was a quiet day for the Wolves, right? Nope. Not even close.
The excitement started in the afternoon when Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted that Butler had called a players-only meeting to address his teammates. Butler, who told ESPN on Wednesday that he asked the Wolves to trade him four days after the 2017-18 season ended, discussed his feelings about the situation and Wolves management, league sources told Charania.
The four-time All-Star also “expressed to players he would compete with them,” as signs point to him staying with the franchise into the regular season. Charania then added the below tweet.
Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Several players spoke up in players-only meeting, but Butler led it, made known his issues with management. His message was similar to one he displayed Wednesday: I run this. He's far too competitive to sit real games. https://t.co/Cwo8OCFY8m
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 11, 2018
There was only one issue.
Wolves point guard Jeff Teague was among those associated with the team who disputed that any type of team meeting had taken place. Teague tweeted at Charania: “It wasn’t no players meeting you just made that up bro y’all gotta relax with this fake news.”
The only problem was that Butler clearly did not have Teague’s back as the Wolves moved one day closer to the regular season. Minnesota will close the preseason with a game on Friday night in Milwaukee.
Jimmy Butler confirmed to @Rachel__Nichols that he held a players-only meeting with Timberwolves players on Thursday, a day after he reported to the team for his first practice. pic.twitter.com/I90SyC1LdL
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 11, 2018