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Jimmy Butler knows what Tom Thibodeau can do for the Knicks’ core



Jimmy Butler sounds ready for further reunion with Tom Thibodeau.

After playing under the new Knicks coach in Chicago and Minnesota, Butler – who has credited Thibodeau with his development from the very last first round to the five-time All-Star – said he believes the young core of RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson can make similar progress with Thibodeau’s teachings.

“He will do well. He will turn the young guys into some real players; some superstars, some All-Stars, “Butler said of Thibodeau. “I know he’s itching for this. I know he’s prepared for it. When you talk about Thibs and the big stage, I think they go hand in hand. “

After four seasons together in Chicago ̵

1; during which Butler went from an average of two points per game as a rookie to 20 points in 2014-15 – Thibodeau, as coach and president of basketball, took Butler to Minnesota in a trade in 2017. That season helped the pair to produce the Timberwolves’ first playoff in 14 years.

tom thibodeau nods jimmy butler praise
Tom Thibodeau and Jimmy ButlerAP Photo

Nevertheless, Butler’s misfortune with the team led to a trade request before the next training camp, which led to Thibodeau’s shooting halfway through his third season as coach. After landing in Philadelphia, Butler accepted errors in how the situation developed.

“I take all the blame. “I’m sure he will say he takes it too,” Butler said last year. “But as I say to everyone, Thibs is a big part – and you can say I smile because that’s the truth – about who I am today as a player. He gave me an opportunity after not letting me play at all my first years. But then he saw something in me and he let me rock a little. “

Distance made Butler’s heart grow. Last year, Butler also acknowledged the challenge of playing for the famous intense coach, suggesting that the style is better suited for college basketball.

“Hell, it’s different,” Butler said. “[Butler’s former coach] Buzz Williams, who’s like Thibs in the sense that they’ll be yelling at you, they’re coming to Mom – you, they’ll say everything, that’s how they talk to you. I think in the league you can not really talk to anyone like that. You know what I mean?”




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