PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jimmy Butler is spilling the beans on why he left the Philadelphia 76ers last offseason. Butler was on the JJ Redick Podcast on Wednesday morning discussing last season and the relationship with his former team.
Turns out, Butler had a problem with the lack of leadership from head coach Brett Brown.
Butler and Redick say there were a lot of voices, input from different places and so much going on.
“It was so different on any given day, me as a person, a player, I didn’t know who the [expletive] was in charge. I didn’t know what the [expletive] to expect when I would go into the gym, whenever I would go onto the plane, in a game. I was like man, I think I was as lost as the next [expletive].”
“I didn't know who the f–k was in charge…I didn't know what the f–k to expect whenever I would go into the gym…I was like: 'Man.' I think I was as lost as the next motherf–ker."
-Jimmy Butler on the Sixers
(🎥 The JJ Redick Podcast / The Ringer) pic.twitter.com/hHZsXqHBJy
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) March 11, 2020
Butler explains he realized this after being pulled into a mid-season meeting with Redick, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons and “nothing got accomplished.”
Weeks later, speculation broke that Jimmy Butler had tested Brown during a film session in Portland.
The pair explain that when Brown was talking about some changes in the offense, the coaches left the floor open for players to give their input.
“You threw the nice guy, you threw T.J. McConnell, under the bus,” Redick said. “Jimmy goes, ‘TJ wants more pick-and-rolls.'”
Butler argues he wasn’t throwing him under the bus, but he had talked with McConnell and when the coaches opened the floor, none of his teammates expressed their opinions.
“Everybody comes to talk to me because they know I’m not afraid to be the [expletive],” Butler said. “Brett asked a great question, ‘Who else feels a type of way about something?’ I didn’t hear anything behind me, I just knew someone was going to speak up because I talked to about five people, crickets. So I turned around and the first person I happened to lock eyes with was TJ.”
Butler and Redick both questioned their role on the team last year after then Toronto Raptor Kawhi Leonard hit a devastating buzzer-beater in Game 7, knocking the Sixers out of the NBA Playoffs.
Questioning if he would be back with his teammates is one of the first things Butler did following the loss.
“The shot goes in, we go back in the locker room, I’m in awe a little bit. The first thing that comes to my mind legit is, ‘Will I be back here? Will I have the opportunity to do this again, with these guys?’ And to tell you the truth, I had a feeling it would be a no.”
During the off-season, someone told Butler a main reason the Sixers weren’t going to keep him was because someone asked if they could control him.
“I ain’t throwing nobody under the bus, but somebody told me a main reason that I didn’t go back was because somebody asked, ‘Can you control him? Like can you control Jimmy? If you can control Jimmy we would think about having him back.'”
At that point in time, Butler said he knew Philadelphia wasn’t the place for him.