Says Clutch Points:
Sixers big man Justin Patton, who was traded to Philly from Minny with Jimmy Butler, spoke out yesterday about Butler and his relationship to team chemistry in Philly.
The Sixers meet the Wolves tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.
Speaking with Chris Hine, the Timberwolves beat writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Patton explained that “the media just has to make something up” and that “they don’t want him to be the good guy.”
Patton is speaking largely about recent reports that Butler has been clashing with the coaching staff in Philly, specifically head coach Brett Brown, over style of play and play-calling.
Joel Embiid hasn’t been shy in moments speaking with reporters regarding the current roles on the team and his desire to see more action. Most notably, following the Sixers loss to the Boston Celtics on Christmas day, Embiid told reporters he felt he didn’t get the ball enough late in the game.
However, this doesn’t mean that there is growing discord in the 76ers’ locker room, or that Jimmy Butler has been a negative presence. Butler’s time with his previous teams, the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves, didn’t end gracefully. But that was more a product of situation rather than a result of Butler’s personality. While Butler has rubbed some teammates the wrong way, there are many teammates who have appreciated him and admired his work ethic.
Patton, who has played with Jimmy on two different teams now, gave praise to Butler and noted that “he’s always a good guy.” While the concerns about his fit in Philadelphia and his effect on team chemistry may be fabricated or exaggerated, only time will tell.