Disgruntled Jimmy Butler caused a stir at the Minnesota Timberwolves’ practice on Wednesday, and he wasn’t given a chance to do so again on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO: Sep 24, 2018; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) poses for photos on media day at Chesapeake Energy Arena Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The team canceled practice and instead there was a players-only meeting between Butler and his teammates, according to multiple media outlets.
Butler reportedly told his teammates that his issues are with management and not the players. However, point guard Jeff Teague said on his Twitter account that The Athletic’s description of the meeting was inaccurate. “It wasn’t no players meeting you just made that up bro y’all gotta relax with this fake news,” Teague tweeted.
According to ESPN, Butler on Wednesday verbally challenged teammates, coaches and front office executives. Butler, a four-time All-Star, has demanded a trade this offseason and has called out young stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins on a number of occasions.
—Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook is making a swift recovery from right knee surgery, but his status remains uncertain for the Thunder’s season opener against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.
The seven-time All-Star underwent the procedure on Sept. 12 and was slated to be re-evaluated in four weeks, which was Wednesday.
“Every day for him, he feels better and better,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “I don’t want to say (if he will play). I know you guys want to know that, but that’s too far out and there will be a lot of things that will go into that decision.”
—Warriors coach Steve Kerr is joining San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Team USA.
Kerr was named an assistant coach for USA Basketball and will serve on Popovich’s bench along with Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan and Villanova coach Jay Wright.
The assignment includes the next two summers, spanning the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
—If the NBA decides to expand, organizers in Montreal wants the league to look north of the border.
A Quebec business group led by former federal cabinet minister and senator Michael Fortier has spoken with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Fortier told reporters.
The group has been meeting with potential Canadian and foreign investors to arrange financing. Fortier estimated the cost at between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in U.S. dollars but said no public funding would be required.
—The Bucks waived swingman Shabazz Muhammad, who joined Milwaukee last March after being waived by the Timberwolves. He averaged 8.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11 games with Milwaukee.
—Field Level Media