The Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly had a player’s only meeting on Thursday, just one day after Jimmy Butler returned to practice with his teammates.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted the news at 2:35 p.m. EST, a few hours after his colleague Jon Krawczynski noted that the team canceled practice for Thursday. Butler confirmed the news of Minnesota’s player’s only meeting to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
According to Charania, Butler expressed “his feelings toward [the] situation and management” as well as his willingness to compete with them now as the regular season nears. Charania said that after the meeting, players believed he would be a part of the team despite his recent outburst at practice.
During his first practice back with the Timberwolves, the four-time All-Star reportedly chastised teammates (focusing on their young centerpieces Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins) as well as the front office and head coach of the organization.
After such a tense practice and a subsequent interview with Nichols, one would assume Butler felt the need to clear the air with others on the team – epecially if he was about to join them on the court. It’s clear that the chemistry and the morale of the group would need to be addressed.
However, Timberwolves point guard Jeff Teague denied that a player’s only meeting took place. Teague tweeted at Charania, saying that Shams “just made that up” and was spreading “fake news.”
John Lucas III, who is a player development coach for the Timberwolves, also tweeted skepticism about such an event. This is all so bizarre, to say the least, so it may take some time until we understand what actually happened on Thursday afternoon.