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

Jimmy Butler sounds ready for another reunion with Tom Thibodeau.

After playing under the new Knicks coach in Chicago and Minnesota, Butler – who credited Thibodeau for his development from the late first round selection to the five-time All-Star – said he believed the young core of RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson could to make similar progress with the teachings of Thibodeau.

“He will do great. He will turn these young boys into real players; some superstars, some stars, Butler told Thibodeau. “I know he was itching because of that. I know he was preparing 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 operations brought Butler to Minnesota to trade in 2017. This season, the couple helped create the first Timberwolves appearance in 14 years.

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

Nevertheless, Butler’s dissatisfaction with the team led to a commercial bid before the next training camp, which led to the dismissal of Thibodeau in the middle of his third season as coach. After landing in Philadelphia, Butler blamed the situation.

“I will take all the blame. “I’m sure he’ll say he’ll take it, too,” Butler said last year. “But as I tell everyone, Thibs is a big part – and you can say I’m smiling because it’s the truth – about who I am today as a player. He gave me the opportunity after he didn’t let me play for the first few years at all. But then he saw something in me and let me shake a little. “

However, the distance made Butler’s heart break. Last year, Butler also acknowledged the challenge of playing for a notorious intense coach, suggesting that the style was more appropriate for college basketball.

“Hell, it’s different,” Butler said. “[Butler’s former coach] Buzz Williams, who is very similar to Thibs in the sense that they will call you, they will go to their mother – you, they will say everything, so they talk to you. I don’t think you can really talk to anyone like that in the league. You know what I mean?”

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