Several years ago, it seemed like all Timberwolves fans could talk about was rumored problems between Andrew Wiggins and Miami Heat sensation Jimmy Butler. Wiggins recently stirred the pot again when he revealed that he’s rooting for Butler in the 2020 postseason.
Fans quickly note that it seemed like Wiggins’ comments were an attempt to throw Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns under the bus. So, what really happened between these three powerhouse athletes?
Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns together in Minnesota
Wiggins started his 2014 rookie season with the Timberwolves. The small forward stayed in Minnesota up until February 2020 when he started falling into a slump and was traded to the Warriors. SB Nation says of Wiggins, “He’s his own worst enemy … an objectively talented solo act who doesn’t know how to sacrifice, let alone express a willingness to try.” Harsh words for a player that’s scored 8,700 points before his 25th birthday.
Since 2015, Towns has spent his entire career in Minnesota. He was averaging a career-best 26.5 points and 10.8 rebounds before being benched for numerous injuries. Once capable of an MVP level of play, rumors are starting to surface about Towns leaving the Timberwolves. His contract doesn’t expire until 2024, so it may prove to be unfounded.
Defined as polar opposites, the two men became friends early in their careers. Playing together in Minnesota, the top draft picks were often referred to as the “Dynamic Duo.” Over several seasons, the magic started to fade. It became obvious that they were not holding up their end of the bargain.
The dramatic Jimmy Butler saga
Enter Butler, the disgruntled player who wanted nothing more than to leave the Timberwolves. The four-time NBA All-Star began playing in Minnesota in 2017, when Towns and Wiggins were in their prime. Unhappy with his role, the former Bulls player requested an offseason trade. Butler was traded to the 76ers 10 games into the 2018 season.
After his controversial trade request, Butler went on an embarrassing tirade directed at then-teammates Wiggins and Towns. According to Yahoo Sports, Butler yelled across the court, “they ain’t s—t” and “they soft.” Not letting up, he continued, “He can’t do s—t against me!” Towns responded by kicking the ball off the court.
After the charged insults, Butler sat down with Rachel Nichols from ESPN, telling her, “That’s raw me, me at my finest, me at my purest.” He explained that he harassed the two young players because while he sees their talent, he doesn’t think they play as hard as him.
Both players took it all in stride, and when Butler’s trade became official, Towns told ESPN, “He’s one hell of a player. I don’t know how many Jimmy Butlers there are in the world, so I think he’ll be missed.” Wiggins commented, “I learned a lot of things from him. We made the playoffs, something we haven’t done in a long, long time. So I think it was a positive either way you put it.”
Why is Wiggins igniting things again?
That all happened back in 2018 when the three men played together for the Timberwolves. Fast-forward to today, where they have all gone their separate ways.
Butler reportedly requested the trade because he didn’t get along with the “dynamic duo.” Wiggins recently took to Twitter to presumably throw former teammate Towns under the bus. He showed support for Butler and said, “I feel like that was from certain people that couldn’t handle certain situations.” Fans believe this was a clear shot at Towns.
Wiggins implied that he’s rooting for Butler and the Miami Heat and claims he never had a problem with the guy who publicly embarrassed him. He seems to be blaming it all on Towns, according to Fadeaway World. Wiggins told ESPN, “Jimmy, he was a great teammate. Hell of a competitor … he brings the best out of people.”