Even after 13 games with the Miami heat, there seems to be some tension between Jimmy Butler and the Philadlephia 76ers.
He was traded there in the fall of 2018 but only played 55 games before jumping ship to head south. The nature of his departure left a lot of questions, and it seems Butler may have had a number of issues with not only the organization as a whole but with the players currently on the roster.
We know in Minnesota, Butler was throwing a fit over what he saw as a poor work ethic by Andrew Wiggins, whom the Wolves proceeded to pay out tens of millions of dollars to in a max contract extension that summer. It was part of the reason Butler left.
Could the same have been true in Philadelphia?
In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports, Butler appears to have thrown some shade towards the Sixers and 2018 Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons.
Vince Goodwill w/ Jimmy Butler on @YahooSportsNBA
VG: Did you feel everybody in Philly was working as hard and recognised the opportunity?
JB: No…but is every player playing this game for a championship?
VG: But what are they playing for?
— Simon Smith (@SimonSperling) November 27, 2019
We know that Ben Simmons is one of the brightest young talents in the game today, and his stats speak for themselves. Through 2 seasons in the NBA, Ben is averaging 16 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8 assists per game.
Unfortunately, he has a glaring flaw in his game that is holding both him and his team back from their full potential. With only one made three-pointer in his career, Simmons has yet to improve his perimeter shot-making ability. In fact, Simmons has seen a regression in his game as a whole through the first 15 games of this campaign.
He is averaging career-lows in points (12.9) and rebounds (6.7) this season despite being expected to carry a bigger load on offense now than at any point during his career.
Is this step-down a result of playing for “cars,” or is just just a slump that Simmons will break out of? Whatever the case, Butler seems to be implying that his former teammates have some growing up to do.
It will be up to nobody but Simmons and Embiid to prove him wrong.