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Jimmy Butler On Ben Simmons And Joel Embiid: “I Didn’t Have A Problem With Either One Of Them. It Just Didn’t Work The Way We Wanted It To Work.'

(via Sports Illustrated)

(via Sports Illustrated)

Jimmy Butler is now almost a full season removed from his days in Philadelphia. And while things could have turned out much worse for him there, it just wasn't meant to be.

Butler clashed with the rather laid-back personalities of Simmons and Embiid. He pushed them beyond their limit at times and even resorted to calling them out publicly. In the end, when it came down to it, the Sixers banked their future on the pairing of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid more-so than they believed in the leadership of Jimmy Butler.

Make whatever you will from that conclusion, but Jimmy is thriving with his new team while the 76ers are struggling to meet expectations.

Reports of a deep-seated problem have become the narrative for Butler and his former teammates but the star guard himself denied any personal issues with the two young studs.

(via Andrew Sharp for SI)

One rumor Butler would like to dispel is the idea that he left Philadelphia because of tension with Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid. “I didn’t have a problem with either one of them,” he says. “Still talk to those dudes. I wish them the absolute best. A career of great health, make as much money as you can, win as many championships as you can. I did not have a problem with any of those guys. It just didn’t work the way that we wanted it to work. That’s life. Not everything pans out the way you want it to pan out. But you learn and you move on from it.”

Butler isn’t interested in elaborating on what, exactly, didn’t work. Likewise, asked whether he would still be in Philadelphia if the Sixers had offered him a five-year, $190 million contract in July, he says, “Nobody knows what was offered and what was said. You only know what the media told you.”

What’s indisputable is that he’s in Miami seven months later—and the Heat have a better record than the 76ers.

Clearly, something more than money drove Butler away from Philly. Whatever it was, he won't be sharing.

What we do know is that he has moved on from that time. Butler is in Miami now, enjoying the fruits of his labor with a team almost as hungry as he is. And despite the overwhelming belief that the Sixers would be representing the East in the 2020 NBA Finals, it is Butler and the Heat who seem more poised for that ending.

It seems he made the right call.