Jimmy Butler Downplays ESPN Report of Film Session Confrontation

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler and Wilson Chandler practiced Monday after missing out on Saturday’s win with upper respiratory infections.

That same infection has apparently spread to Ben Simmons, who did not take part in today’s training but should be okay for tomorrow’s game, according to Brett Brown.

But the big story on Action News is Butler’s response to the ESPN story regarding the film session confrontation that took place on the recent west coast road trip, a story Brown commented on at length in his pregame comments Saturday night.

Like his head coach, Butler downplayed the idea of having a confrontational exchange:

“I don’t think anything was confrontational. I just think that whenever we talk, when it’s in the office and it’s me and him, or in front of anybody else, I’m gonna speak my mind and he speaks his. I think everybody else does a great job of doing that, too. I don’t think any part of that was confrontational. It was just a player and coach talking and it just happened to be in front of everybody. I think we (came) away from it great and we got better as a team.”

All relevant Butler quotes after the jump:

On whether anything between him and Brett Brown has been out of the ordinary:

No, actually we’ve been talking damn near every day, trying to figure each other out and how to make it all work, not just for myself but everybody. I’m telling you, it’s a player and a coach conversation, and I think if you followed me long enough you would know if I was being confrontational because I don’t think I’d be able to hide it very well. We’re in here talking, trying to win games, making sure everybody’s happy. Confrontation? That’s not the word I would use.

Does it upset you or bother you that something like this made it to the media? You’ve had to deal with questions about your attitude and demeanor.

Nope, not at all. I think everybody views everything from a different perspective. Just because I speak my mind, what I feel to be the truth, if I’m wrong, anybody can correct me. I’m just trying to help win. I don’t know if you want me to say ‘please’ after every remark, or not have my voice as deep, but I’m telling y’all I’m going to speak about basketball. It would be different if I was going at somebody and saying cuss words, making it personal, this and that, making demands, but that’s not what I’m doing.

If this is a healthy conversation, why would something like this come out? 

I don’t know. If you were sitting there, you might have a different (view) on things than the next guy. Because nobody’s been around me that much, the way that we talk about something, it may not be the way you talk about something. But I’m not going to say that it’s confrontational; I think, for the most part, honestly, I did a lot of the talking, because I feel like I’m a vocal person, especially with how I study the film and how much I study the game.

If you were in there, you might see it a different way.

Do you like that Brown is a guy who asks for your opinion?

Yeah. I think he’s a guy who asks that of everybody, not just me. I’m pretty sure a lot of times though, even if he didn’t ask me I would still tell him what I see, just because I’m out there for an average of like 33 minutes, so I can see the game differently as a player being out there, all of the schemes people throw at you. It’s great to know you can go to coach and talk about what you see in the game.

The next game after (the film session), it seemed noticeable that there were more pick and rolls. Is that something that came up in the discussion and is that a result of the discussion you had?

That wasn’t my discussion part of it. I’m not going to say who said what. That’s not what I’m here for. But I think a lot of people spoke up about a lot of different things, and how they felt comfortable in the game on both ends of the floor. I think everybody’s basing everything on offense. I think we can be a much better defensive team as well. So as much as everybody is saying, ‘he’s challenging the offense,’ I would say I speak up more on the defensive more than anything.

So was this particular report about you wanting more pick and roll in the offense?

No. It was not. I think what the whole thing was was, I would say that with me being here, a lot of things are different. A lot of things that you used to run with the other personnel that were here, I’m a different player than RoCo and Dario. That’s all I was saying. Then other guys had something else to say. But I think in the end it was a positive thing because everybody got out what they needed to say.

What can be better defensively? How can you improve defensively?

For me, all the talk, all of the schemes are so different than anything I’ve ever been in. So whenever I say that I was talking about something in the film, it was basically on myself. I gotta be better, because I’ve been drilled to do one thing, one way my entire career. Then I’m like, ‘damn, this is totally different.’ I was critiquing myself more than anything, saying I have to be better at this particular part of defense because it’s so different to me. The terminology is still messing me up. I’m getting better at it little by little. But I ain’t gonna say that’s easy at all.

Is this a place you want to be, long-term?

Yeah, I could see it. I’m happy here right now man, I can tell you that. But winning takes care of everything. The second that we drop a couple in a row, y’all will be in here like some vultures trying to pick at whatever it is y’all gonna pick at. But I think as long as we keep winning, everybody’s happy.

JJ Redick also downplayed the story Monday, as did Joel Embiid, Jonah Bolden, and Ben Simmons on Saturday night after the Dallas win. Brown was again asked about the story today but more or less reaffirmed what he told us two days ago, which included a lot more talk about pick and rolls and dribble hand-offs.

 

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4 Responses

  1. So… this was definitely Fultz’s agent who leaked the story, right? He’s always had a direct line to Woj. Now he’s trying to paint the Sixers as a dysfunctional team with a bad environment, so when Fultz is “healthy” and doesn’t play enough or doesn’t play well, he can blame it on Brown, Butler, Embiid and Simmons.

  2. A basketball player had a basketball conversation with his basketball coach. Nothing to see here. Media just trying to make a story where there is none.

  3. Say what you will about Butler he gives the team swagger they did not have previously. In the playoffs his style will payoff.

  4. The guys at ricky sanchez said Fultz wasn’t at the film study where this alleged “heated” conversation took place. If that’s truly the case, one does wonder who would have leaked it to Woj. I realize he makes the team better, but I’m not sold on giving a soon to be 30 year old in Butler a max deal this summer. The guy seems like a real dickhead at times.

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