Jimmy Butler had a plan to hit Minnesota where it hurts when he didn’t play on Wednesday night. Butler claims he didn’t play “because my body is hurting.” However, we know better. It’s another power play by a disgruntled superstar who has been imploring the team to trade him since this past summer and doesn’t care for his young co-stars Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns one bit.
At the same time, he wants to show Minnesota that investing in the youth to lead the franchise is a mistake. Remember when Butler came into practice like a bat out of hell and started serving everyone a nice plate of Jimmy’s humble pie before exiting with a resounding mic drop of expletives and controlled chaos?
Well, sitting last night was phase two of his exit plan. He wanted Minnesota to feel the impact of his absence against a formidable Utah Jazz team.
Butler just didn’t count on Derrick Rose filling in and turning back the clock with an explosive and unforeseen 50 points to lead the Timberwolves.
Career-high 50 PTS | Game-winning block An emotional Derrick Rose talks over his memorable night for the @Timberwolves! #AllEyesNorth #ThisIsWhyWePlay https://t.co/YK28ptXyoG
The emotion exuding from Rose after he sealed the game was immediate proof that Butler’s self-indulgence had backfired. His best-laid plans were stomped and stuffed by Rose’s incredible evening. Butler’s desperately trying to get out of town, even risking his reputation as a team player to get it done.
“I’ve known Jimmy for years,” said Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s Get Up show. “He wants this to be about him. Now you can sit up there and talk about the selfishness of it all and I wouldn’t disagree with you but sometimes selfishness ain’t the worst thing in the world when it’s intentional and calculating…he wants you to feel his absence.”
“He wants to do little things because he’s not going to go on the court and play like garbage. He’s not going to throw a game or give a half-assed effort. So what way can I go out there and specifically and conspicuously show I really don’t want to be here. I’m being forced to stay here right now. I want out !”
With Jimmy feeling the way he does, D-Rose was all in. Even if he never has another game like this in his career, he’s been vindicated.
Vindicated for the injuries and the mental and physically debilitating toll they took on his body as he faded quickly from the 2011 MVP form that had elevated him to a face of the NBA. In Chicago, Rose learned some tough lessons about loyalty and life.
The youngest MVP in @NBA history (2010-11)… Derrick Rose scores 44 PTS in the Playoffs for the @chicagobulls on 5/6/2011! https://t.co/5gnz9JAxlT
As the weight of an injury-plagued career ravaged his soul and made him publicly question his desire to continue, frustrated Bulls fans eventually turned on their beloved son and the relationship got really rocky when Rose refused to come back and participate in the playoffs even though he had the doctor’s blessing.
His brother Reggie said it was basically because the team was trash. That combined with Rose’s inactivity was the final fracture in that marriage.
After leaving the Bulls, stops with the Knicks and Cavaliers and some more nagging injuries had relegated the former transcendent talent to back up status. There were some rough mental stretches, so many rehabs, and the low point which was when he just left the Knicks team to go home and missed a game.
But he always bounced back. It’s called growing up and trying to master the game of life.
People will say that the “old” Rose returned on Halloween night, but truthfully it was the new version.
Seven years after winning the MVP with a game built on incomparable explosiveness, speed, court vision, and freakish athleticism, Rose is now a crafty veteran with a polished offensive arsenal. He functions well in a team system, whether starting or coming off the bench.
Derrick Rose with the Hakeem fake on Rudy Gobert! (Via @cjzero) https://t.co/5QL4PdkDaE
He’s done a successful Grant Hill-like game transformation and is making himself a commodity in the league again. The emotion, energy, and effectiveness he’s been playing with also let us know that he plans to stick around awhile. And he still knows how to steal the spotlight and capture the moment.
Sorry Jimmy, nobody even remembers that you didn’t play last night.
If you were trying to hit them where it hurts, you actually stubbed your own toe.