Longtime teammates Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose acknowledge that they were surprised the declaration came as quickly as it did.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to look at it from a player’s standpoint and a business standpoint,” Gibson told ESPN after Friday’s practice. “He’s trying to do what he got to do, but everybody’s calling him. It’s more of a [situation where] I’ve got to go see him kind of thing. But I worked out with him all summer, so when I said what I meant, it was like a right hook. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know. I thought — it looked like from everything things were going good. But sometimes it’s a money aspect, and fans and different players got to understand that. I understand that with being in the league for so many years, but got to try to just see what we can do. … One thing about everybody who’s here, from the coaching staff, players, everybody’s familiar with each other, we’ve been through a lot together, so we just got to keep trying.”
Might have been the realest quote of Timberwolves media day:
Taj Gibson on the Jimmy Butler situation: pic.twitter.com/nDXCzWZN7W
— jace frederick (@JaceFrederick) September 25, 2018
Gibson, who has a very close relationship with Butler dating to their time with the Chicago Bulls, says he has tried to give Butler space to make his decisions over the past couple of weeks.
Minnesota point guard Derrick Rose was also teammates with Butler on the Bulls from 2011-16. He said he wishes Butler “nothing but the best.”
“I didn’t know what the situation is,” Rose said. “I just didn’t know it was that bad. Even being here, I didn’t know it was that bad.
“You never know what someone’s going through. I’ve been in the same position where you’re just misunderstood so you never know what someone’s going through.
No matter what happens, both Gibson and Rose will support Butler moving forward.
“I wish him nothing but the best,” Rose said, “because you never know what someone’s going through. I’ve been in the same position where you’re just misunderstood, so you never know what someone’s going through.”
Jimmy Butler is clearly a me first type of guy, which is fine. That’s his call. The real name of the game is to make as much money as you can while you still can. If Jimmy isn’t happy in Minny, then leave.
We know Jimmy ‘s looking for the good life in South Beach.