Jimmy Butler Explains His Great Respect For Coach Thibodeau

Photo Credti: Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune

Jimmy Butler Explains His Great Respect For Coach Thibodeau


This past offseason, NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. But it won’t just be new faces for Butler. He will be back together with his former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. The player-coach tandem had some great years in Chicago and highly respect each other. Thibs is know for sticking with a lineup and letting his players play heavy minutes. He can be a very demanding coach. For two consecutive seasons under Thibodeau, Butler averaged close to 39 minutes per game. In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins, Jimmy now explained why he has so much respect for his coach:


Here was a rookie Thibodeau could appreciate, and a coach Butler could respect. He challenged himself to get to the team’s facility before Thibodeau. “I pull up at 6 a.m.—‘I’m gonna beat his ass today!’—and I see that damn black Range Rover parked out front. Next morning I get there at 5:45—‘I’m definitely gonna beat his ass today!’—and there it is again. Then late at night I come back to shoot with Luol, and it’s still parked in that same spot. It’s like, ‘O.K., forget it, I can’t beat the guy. So I’m just gonna run through a wall for this motherf—–.’


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