Jimmy Butler has called out 76ers coach about team's offensive approach

Florence Fletcher
January 6, 2019

Less than two months after he used a series public criticisms, run-ins with teammates and management, and trade demands to essentially force his way out of Minnesota, four-time All-Star guard Jimmy Butler is reportedly "aggressively challenging" Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown. Still, things have not been ideal in the City of Brotherly Love, and as a result, the team's newest acquisition is challenging aspects of the team's offense.

Brown reportedly told people within the 76ers organization that he had no issue with the exchange and considered it normal for the relationship he has established with Butler. The Sixers are focused on making the team's Big 3 (Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons) work but it's been a "substantial challenge" so far, according to ESPN.

A source close to Butler downplayed the incident by saying Butler's intensity can come off as combative while conveying opinions, per ESPN's report.

The Sixers (25-14), who are now fourth in the Eastern Conference, are 16-8 since the deal - 15-6 when Butler plays.

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Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Portland Trail Blazers on December 30, 2018 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Butler, who becomes a free agent this summer, requested a trade from Minnesota in September after the team made it clear that it would not offer him a max extension.

However, now it appears that there is trouble in paradise when it comes to Philly's new star and head coach Brett Brown. Rival teams believe Butler will eventually decide to take meetings with interested suitors in July.

Despite the reported tension with Butler and the team so far this season, Brown said after Monday night's game against the Clippers that he remains committed to figuring out the team's chemistry. "Playing together is what's always, by a long shot, on my mind".

Since Butler's arrival in Philly, his numbers have dropped to the tune of 18 points per game in 21 outings with the club.

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