Jimmy Butler roasts John Calipari over Karl-Anthony Towns talk
Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler does not appreciate John Calipari suggesting that he bullied Karl-Anthony Towns during his season-plus stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Butler faced the T-Wolves for the first time Tuesday since infamously forcing a trade, and the Sixers delivered a 149-107 beatdown.
The humiliating blowout inspired a fresh round of chatter surrounding Butler’s tumultuous tenure in Minnesota, which included Towns’ former college coach to say Butler mistreated Towns.
“Things happen. There are power struggles all the time in [the NBA],” the Kentucky Wildcats coach said in late-November, via ESPN. “If a guy can bully you, he will bully you. And that’s what Jimmy did to Karl. C’mon, that’s the league.”
Butler was informed of Calipari’s comments following Tuesday’s thrashing of the T-Wolves. To no surprise, Butler took issue with them while taking a shot at the player pedigree of the Wildcats program compared with what he experienced at Marquette.
“Whatever,” Butler told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “That’s OK.
“… I don’t think bully is a good word. I tell it how it is. Whenever I was in college, I had [Marquette coach] Buzz Williams to tell me how it was. I didn’t have a bunch of McDonald’s All Americans like [Calipari] has. So, he can look at it a different way.”
Butler took it a step further, saying he’d have words with Calipari about the criticism should the two cross paths.
“I’m just keeping it real,” Butler added about how he treated Towns. “Some of these guys aren’t used to it. When you have as much talent as [Karl] has had throughout his life, guys don’t keep it real with him. I do.”
Ahead of Wednesday’s game, Butler expressed “no regrets” over how he conducted himself with the Timberwolves or how things ultimately played out.
Regardless of whether Butler’s treatment of Towns amounted to bullying — or if it’s simply a matter of interpretation — the Sixers star’s tenure with the Timberwolves was a complete debacle. It can be argued that it would be best for all involved parties to leave the ugliness in the past and simply move on.