Jeff Teague Tells Full Story of Jimmy Butler Blowing Up Wolves Practice

Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein - Getty Images

Remember that time Jimmy Butler showed up to Minnesota Timberwolves training camp days late, then scrimmaged and beat the starters with a bunch of nobodies who weren’t going to make the roster? Of course you do. And so does former Wolves point guard, Jeff Teague, who was on the losing end of that practice debacle.

Now days, Jeff Teague is out of the league (last played during the 2020-21 season). Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s out of mind. The 12-year NBA point guard recently started co-hosting a podcast recently called the “Club 520 Podcast” and on the most recent episode, Teague recanted the Jimmy Butler practice debacle story from his point of view.

Jeff Teague gives new perspective on Jimmy Butler blow-up

Included were some juicy details that had not been made public, up until this podcast airing. The best part is embedded in a clip below but let me set the scene because that clip doesn’t include the lead up to Butler’s post-scrimmage rant.

According to Teague, Butler got to training camp three days late. When he did finally show, he refused to participate in any drills early on at his first practice with the team. That was until, then head coach Tom Thibodeau, called for an intersquad scrimmage. At that point, Jimmy declared himself ready so Thibs named him as a starter next to KAT, Wiggins, Teague and Taj Gibson.

To that, Teague recants Jimmy yelling, “I ain’t playing with them”. From there, instead of putting himself on the 2nd team, Butler declared himself a member of the 3rd team. Guys who had absolutely no chance of making the team. So, Thibs replaced Butler, in the starting lineup, with Derrick Rose and the scrimmage between the 1st and 3rd team (plus Butler) began.

Jimmy goes nuclear

After Jimmy led his ragtag squad to victory over the starters, he went crazy, according to his former teammate, who I will let take it from here (clip transcribed below).

“Time run out and they win, they beat us like 18-6, right. Man, Jimmy going crazy. ‘Y’all think that team can win without me! I’m HIM! Pay me! Pay me!’ Mind you, he ain’t took off his Jordan warm up yet so he finally takes it off. He got the Timberwolves shirt on but he cut the Minnesota out so it’s just chest. He cut the Minnesota [logo] out the shorts, it’s just shorts.

He out here with a hole in the middle of his shirt, in the middle of his leg, so I’m crying now, you know? I’m crying… I’m like ‘yo bro, you crazy’ but I didn’t realize he just beat us with the G-League team so he’s like, ‘I just beat them with the G-Leaguers! This is your starters?!’ So now, I’m laughing, I’m still crying laughing, but I’m like ‘hold on, he talking about me… Yeah, I’m one of the starters’. So, I’m mad now. All of us [starters] are like ‘nah, F-that like we gotta play again!'”

Jeff Teague – Club 520 Podcast
Butler ditches practice for Rachel Nichols interview

Unfortunately for Jeff and the rest of the Wolves starters that day, they did not get another chance at beating Jimmy Butler’s 3rd stringers. Instead, according to Teague, Thibs made the starters play against the 2nd team first. At that point, Butler sprinted for the locker room

After the starters beat the 2nd team, all of them ran back to the locker room to retrieve Jimmy and demand a rematch. He was nowhere to be found. Why? Well after returning to the gym and completing practice, they returned to the locker room to shower and go home. Then, they turned on the TV and guess who was doing a live interview on ESPN with Rachel Nichols?

“Jimmy just darts to the locker room. I’m talking about running, fast as hell. So we play the second unit, we beat them. We [starters] all run to the locker room, we’re like, ‘Jimmy, bring your ass back out here, we want to play again!’ Jimmy gone. Jimmy at home.

We keep playing, we have practice for like another hour. We all showering, we go in the locker room and ESPN pop up. [It’s] Rachel Nichols and Jimmy Butler on TV. We like ‘what the f***!’. [Butler then tells Nichols in the interview] ‘yeah, I just killed them at practice and I think they all good players…’ We like ‘what… hold on’. I can’t make this up bro. He came and killed us and then did an interview at home. [It was] one of the most iconic moments I’ve ever been a part of in basketball, bro.'”

Jeff Teague – Club 520 Podcast
All planned out

That’s when the Minnesota Timberwolves locker room realized that Jimmy Butler had planned that entire day out. He knew he was going to go to practice and beat the 1st team with the 3rd team. From there, he scheduled Rachel Nichols to meet him back at his house, where he would tell her what happened, among other things.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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