E. Windell Jackson II
The Curious Case of Jimmy Buckets... (in my own words)
Updated: Oct 11, 2018
One day Jimmy Butler Shooting Guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves woke up and realized "he has no shot at an NBA title playing with the current group of players assembled in Minnesota". Much like other superstars in today's NBA, they are creating and controlling their own narratives.
This is not your father's NBA where players were happy to get a salary and fly private for 6 months out of the year.
Today's players demand more from their respective organizations. Yeah they make tens of millions per year but they want and expect more. The more meaning championship rings and more than one chip will satisfy. Gone are the days where making the playoffs and getting bounced in the 1st and 2nd rounds were good enough.
The NBA today is much more than a fashion show for athletes, it is 450 individuals who are brands within themselves. Some are more recognized than others but they are all professional athletes who demand a certain level of respect. They want to play on and for winning organizations on and off the court.
This brings my point back to Jimmy Butler. He could have easily signed the contract extension Minnesota offered him back in July. He chose not to because he didn't want to continue to play for an inferior and mediocre organization. The kind of organization that allows their professional athletes to phone it in on a daily basis and not give maximum effort to consistently play at a high level.
Jimmy is a leader and true competitor who expects nothing less than his co-workers committing to play at a high level each and every night. He will never be satisfied with a 1st or 2nd round exit from the playoffs year after year.
Today the Timberwolves organization put Jimmy Butler on the practice floor with the same players that he no longer wants to play alongside. It was brutal, he literally gave each player the business including coaching and organizational staff alike. He challenged them in a way they are not used to. This should be happening in every NBA practice facility in my opinion.
I don't blame Jimmy Butler for how he has handled his situation. Only he can truly facilitate how he goes down in NBA history. I applaud him for wanting to be more than a former NBA player. He wants to be great and there is nothing wrong with that.