After a report on Friday indicated that Jimmy Butler had “aggressively challenged” Sixers head coach Brett Brown over his role in Philadelphia’s offense, Brown downplayed the story over the weekend, telling the media that he didn’t believe Butler had crossed any lines. Speaking today to reporters, Butler conveyed a similar sentiment, as Paul Hudrick of NBC Sports Philadelphia relays.
“We’ve been talking damn near every day,” Butler said of his conversations with Brown. “Trying to figure everything out and how we can make everyone work. Not just for myself but for everybody. I’m telling you it’s a player and a coach conversation. I think that if you’ve followed me long enough, you know if I was being confrontational because I don’t think I could hide it very well.”
Friday’s report referenced a specific film session in which Butler’s questioning of Brown came off as “disrespectful,” according to some witnesses. While the 29-year-old acknowledged that he voiced his opinion during that film session, he framed it as an open, honest discussion about how to maximize the club’s offense.
“I think what the whole thing was, I would say with me being here a lot of things are different,” Butler said. “A lot of things that you used to run with the other personnel that was here — I’m a different player than [Robert Covington] and Dario [Saric]. That’s all I was saying, and then other guys had something else to say, but I think in the end it was a positive thing because everybody got what they needed to say out.”
Since the Butler story broke on Friday, some opposing general managers have called the 76ers to ask whether the All-NBA swingman might go back on the market before the February 7 trade deadline, a team source tells Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report. However, according to Weitzman, Philadelphia has firmly turned away any inquiries it has received on Butler, who was just acquired from the Timberwolves in November.