Jimmy Butler picked up his first win with the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night, marking a successful home debut in their 113-107 win against the Utah Jazz.
Butler dropped a team-high 28 points and went 12-of-15 from the field in the win, and played a key part in closing out the victory in the final stretch.
And even though he’s been with the team for a matter of days, it already sounds like Butler is much, much happier in Philadelphia than he was in Minnesota.
Talking with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Serena Winters after the win, Butler made some interesting comments — some that could be seen as a shot at his former team.
"I love this group of guys."
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 17, 2018
“We did what we’re supposed to do. It’s so fun to win,” Butler said. “It’s so much more fun to play with these guys.”
Now, Butler simply could have meant that as a compliment to his new teammates. However, it’s no secret the Timberwolves and Butler had a massive string of issues this year that affected the rest of the organization.
Butler and the Timberwolves were in a rough standoff to start the season, ever since he made it clear he wanted to be traded just before training camp started. Even though the four-time All-Star insisted he wasn’t a distraction for Minnesota, many saw Butler as a bad influence on Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. One scout even said that Butler was the problem in Minnesota and when he was with the Chicago Bulls, and that “he’s really hard to play with.”
It showed on the court, too, as the Timberwolves dropped five-straight games leading up to the trade.
The vibe in the 76ers locker room so far, though, seems to be a much better fit.
“Everybody wants to win,” Butler added. “And when somebody messes up, you talk to them, they don’t take it personal and they do their job. I think everybody is such a good basketball player, and we all want to do right, that sometimes we mess up.”
The fans in Philly seem to be embracing him, too. Butler signed the game ball after the win on Friday and happily tossed it into the stands. He then took off his shoes and gave them to former Eagles wide receiver Chris Carter, who promptly welcomed him to Philly.
Jimmy Butler signs the game ball, throws it into the stands, and gives his sneakers to Cris Carter. 💪 pic.twitter.com/kux0KnZ0V8
— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) November 17, 2018
For the record, though, the Timberwolves are 3-0 now without Butler.
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