Jimmy Butler Trade: Pat Riley Cursed Out Tom Thibodeau for Last-Second Change
A Jimmy Butler trade was almost conceived by the Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat.
But with the deal on the one-yard line over the weekend, according to ESPN’s Jorge Sedano, Timberwolves president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau asked for more, prompting Heat president Pat Riley to call his counterpart a name that can’t be uttered on basic cable.
Sedano said on ESPN Radio:
They finally relented on Josh Richardson, they were giving up Josh Richardson. I think Dion Waiters was going to be the cap filler basically there. And then a protected first-round pick. The medicals were exchanged, which generally means this is a done deal. And then Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley, literally, I was told, called him a mother bleeper and hung up the phone.
Why Jimmy Butler Wants Out
After a contentious practice on Wednesday, Butler opened up about what made him want to request a trade this offseason in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols:
It just all goes back to telling the truth, and being honest with myself, me being honest with them, them being honest with me, and you just look at it and the whole thing is — I just want to be appreciated. That’s it. It’s not about anything else. Everybody can see who it is, and what we’re missing. Not the defense, not the points, it’s the passion. It’s the heart that I play with on every single possession. And that’s all that it is. All that I’m asking from you is just be honest with me. Don’t tell me — just tell me the whole truth. Don’t tell me half the truth, tell me the whole truth, and that’s what it’s all about.
Pat Riley’s Short Temper
This isn’t the first time Riley’s sworn while addressing a fellow dealmaker of an NBA team.
After the 2012-13 Heat’s 27-game winning streak was snapped by the Chicago Bulls, LeBron James complained about officials through the media.
“First of all Kirk Hinrich in the first quarter basically grabbed me with two hands and brought me to the ground,” James said, according to NESN. “And the last one, Taj Gibson was able to collar me around my shoulder and bring me to the ground. Those are not basketball plays.
“I’m not sitting here crying about anything. I play the game at a high level, I play with a lot of aggression, I understand that some of the plays are on the borderline of a basketball play or not. But sometimes, you know? I don’t know … it’s frustrating.”
Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge had apparently seen the game, and complained to WEEI about James’ complaining.
“I think the referees got the calls right. I don’t think it was a hard foul,” Ainge said. “I think the one involving LeBron against Boozer, that was flagrant. I think the officials got it right.
“I think that it’s almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating.”
Rather than see his reaction trickle through the press, Riley released quite the statement through a Heat official: “Danny Ainge needs to shut the f— up and manage his own team. He was the biggest whiner when he was playing, and I know that because I coached against him.”