‘It Was Difficult’: Jimmy Butler Details Sixers Experience

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Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler opened up about his “difficult” lone season in Philadelphia, citing what he perceived to be organizational chaos that eventually led to his exit as an unrestricted free agent last summer.

“I didn’t know who the f**k was in charge,” says Butler.

The five-time NBA All-Star diplomatically called his relationship with Sixers head coach Brett Brown “professional.”

Per The Miami Herald (via “The JJ Redick Podcast With Tommy Alter” podcast):

“It was difficult. It was so different,” Butler said. “On any given day, me as a person and as a player, I didn’t know who the [expletive] was in charge. I think that was my biggest thing. I didn’t know what the [expletive] to expect whenever I would go into the gym, whenever I go into the plane, whenever I got into the game.”

When Butler was asked for the moment he knew he wouldn’t be returning to Philadelphia, he brought up a conversation he had early in the free agency process.

“Somebody told me a main reason that I didn’t go back was because somebody asked, ‘Can you control him? Can you control Jimmy? If you can control Jimmy, we would think about having him back,’” Butler recalled. “I was like, ‘You don’t got to worry about it. Can’t nobody [expletive] control me.’ For one, I ain’t just out there doing no [expletive]. But the fact that you’re trying to control a grown man — nah, I’m cool.”

Butler said he didn’t agree with the coaching staff’s decision to take the ball out of Ben Simmons’ hands late in the season, a move that allowed Butler to run Philadelphia’s offense in the playoffs.

“To this day, I don’t think that was fair to switch over like that,” Butler said. “Even though I think we played great basketball like that, I don’t think it was fair because the entire year, Ben had the ball. The entire year, Ben had the ball. So you mean to tell me that in one playoff series, you just switch it up like that? I would be like he was, I would feel a type of way.”

Related Jimmy Butler: ‘I Didn’t Have a Problem’ With Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons

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