Jimmy Butler spoke about his growth as a player during a lengthy profile piece for Vice by Michael Pina.
Butler was traded by the Chicago Bulls to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which appears to be a decision motivated by how the team reacted to his emergence as a franchise player.
"I think they maybe expected me to stay the same, and I don't think that that's right. Like, I have changed. I will tell you that. But I think that I've changed for the better," Butler said. "When I say for the better, whenever I was a rookie, averaging 0.8 points per game or whatever it might be, it wouldn't matter if I scored that 0.8 because it wasn't going to win or lose us a game. Now, you go forward a couple years when I'm averaging 20 points per game, that's more than likely gonna cost us a game. It's gonna be the difference between winning or losing. Am I right? So now I don't give a damn about pressure, but if someone's going to take the blame for something, who they gonna point to? Me. So yeah, I've changed, because I want to (expletive) win. I want to show that I can win. So the way I go about things, it's not gonna be the way I went about things when I was a rookie, [when] I'm not gonna say anything. Now I've got something to (expletive) say."
Butler is reuniting with Tom Thibodeau after two seasons playing for Fred Hoiberg.
"I'm confrontational. I feed off of confrontation. It makes me go. Not everybody's like that. [Hoiberg] is not that coach, and there's nothing wrong with that. There are different coaching styles and people are gonna say—which is what they did say—'It's gonna be Jimmy's team or it's gonna be Fred's team.' Two total opposite ends of the spectrum. They're either gonna try to win it now or they're gonna go young. And you see which way they went with it. Completely fine. Yo, it's y'all's business. It's y'all's organization. It's cool. And now I'm in Minnesota and couldn't be happier."