If you thought Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns were friends again since it’s been three years since they were teammates on the Minnesota Timberwolves and got into it, you are mistaken. The two All-Stars still have no love for each other and are fierce rivals.
Friday night in South Beach, the Miami Heat hosted the Timberwolves and won by a final score of 121-112. However, that wasn’t the biggest storyline of the game.
Jimmy Butler destroyed Karl-Anthony Towns
With 29.8 seconds left in regulation, Butler and Towns started jawing at each other. The Heat small forward didn’t hold back, calling the Timberwolves big man “soft as baby sh*t” and a “loser.”
Butler put up 25 points, eight rebounds, and six assists against the Timberwolves in 36 minutes. Meanwhile, Towns finished with 27 points, six rebounds, and four assists in 31 minutes.
During their heated exchange, Butler told Towns he already punked him. He was referring to what happened before the 2018-19 season started when he destroyed him and Andrew Wiggins during a Timberwolves practice.
Jimmy Butler went out of his way to challenge Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins
On October 10, 2018, Butler went out of his way to challenge Towns and Wiggins during a Timberwolves practice. The two youngsters were the players the former Chicago Bulls star had issues with in Minnesota.
Per multiple reports, Butler didn’t respect Wiggins’ work ethic and approach on defense and got fed up with the nonchalant attitude of Towns. He called out the two number one overall draft picks in practice and defeated the starters while playing with the bench unit.
Before the 2018-19 NBA season, Butler requested a trade from the Timberwolves. He played in 10 games with the team that season before getting traded to the Philadelphia 76ers on November 12.
In 2017-18, Butler helped Minnesota reach the postseason for the first time in 14 years. He averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 47.4% from the field and 35.0% from beyond the arc. The Timberwolves faced the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2018 playoffs and lost in five games. It’s been reported that Butler began to lose faith in Towns and Wiggins in the postseason.
Jimmy Buckets and Wiggins are cool, but KAT is another story
When the Heat and Golden State Warriors played at the Chase Center in 2019-20, Butler and Wiggins chatted on the court after the game and appeared on good terms. That is clearly not the case with Jimmy Buckets and Towns.
Some fans on social media ripped Butler for his actions toward Towns since the Timberwolves star has been through a lot over the past year. He lost his mother to COVID-19.
Butler is one of the most competitive players in the NBA and loves to trash talk. It appears he still doesn’t have any respect for Towns, who will once again miss the playoffs this season. This dynamic is fascinating and one to keep an eye on over the next few years.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.