Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Jimmy Butler has aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on his role in the offense, complicating an already tenuous chemistry among the team’s Big 3 hierarchy, league sources told ESPN. Butler has been vocal in his contesting of Brown and his system, including a recent film session in Portland that some witnesses considered “disrespectful” and beyond normal player-coach discourse.
Brown has told people within the organization that he had no issues with that exchange and considered it within the confines of the relationship that he's developed with Butler, sources said. While a source close to Butler contends that his intense, direct style can come off as combative as he's trying to make clear his viewpoints, Butler's sluggish assimilation into the Sixers environment is causing some concern about his long-term viability and fit with the organization, league sources said. Nevertheless, the franchise's full focus and resources remain on making this new partnership work this season and beyond.
Brown, who signed a contract extension in the offseason, remains a popular figure with ownership and management. Around the organization, there's an urgency for Brown and his coaching staff to stabilize the situation, sources said. Ownership has been committed to making the Big 3 of Embiid, Simmons and Butler work, especially with Butler's free agency looming this summer.
Butler has expressed a desire to teammates that he hopes to play in more traditional pick-and-roll and isolation sets, rather than trying to find his place in the Sixers free-flowing offense, league sources said. In searching for answers, Butler has met privately with Brown and his coaching staff, as well as general manager Elton Brand, league sources told ESPN.
September 20, 2021 | 9:35 pm EDT Update
Barry Jackson: Per source, Avery Bradley was very much open to a Heat return, but Heat was not interested in that, at this time.
“I went out to San Fran and worked out with Stephen Curry for four or five days. It was just great getting on the floor with him. I’ve been cool with Steph for a while ever since my high school days—[attending] one of his camps—so getting back with him and getting to the gym was awesome,” Michael Porter said.
“Definitely Nikola Jokic is a unique dude that I really respect. [I] would love to have him in the show. I got to bring it up to him still. I don’t even know if he knows about it because he’s not on social media or anything. People can learn a lot from that dude: he’s the MVP but he doesn’t really carry himself like he thinks he’s a superstar—he’s just a regular guy. “I respect his consistency on and off the court and who he is. He’s a funny guy, so I’m hoping to get him on there so that people can see a different side of Joker, too.”
Andrew Marchand: Richard Jefferson was not part of the ESPN’s new daily NBA show announcement because he and ESPN are in contract negotiations, according to sources. Jefferson has been hosting recently, which is where, we’re told, he hopes his future lies, along with being an analyst.