New Wolves guard Jimmy Butler to his haters: Call me
Jimmy, we've got your number.
The Timberwolves' new guard Jimmy Butler made a quick first impression at an introductory press conference Thursday at Mall of America, giving out his digits in response to a question about recent criticism of his trade to the Wolves from the Chicago Bulls.
"It's not frustrating, it's expected," Butler said. "I'm fine. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but with that being said, my phone's in my back pocket right now. If whoever has anything to say to me, feel free."
The crowd erupted in laughter, with a few cheers and incomprehensible shouts from fans in the balconies, who were already excited enough to welcome Butler.
MPR News is Member Supported
What does that mean? The news, analysis and community conversation found here is funded by donations from individuals. Make a gift of any amount today to support this resource for everyone.
Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau was eager to be reunited with Butler, who he previously coached during his time with the Bulls.
"We're excited to have Jimmy," the coach said. "Watching him become a three-time All-Star, an Olympian, gold medalist, All-NBA — it's a tribute to the way he works and who he is as a person. He's a great person, he's a great leader, and we're thrilled to have him."
Butler said he's already felt a connection to Minnesota.
"You all will see me doing the most in this city to make it the best place it can possibly be ... You all are definitely my people, and I will be in this community to the best of my ability," he told fans. "I am so happy to be here, to represent this city now, and I look forward to my future here."
Butler started his career at Tyler Junior College in Texas before moving to Marquette University. He played with the Bulls for six seasons before being traded to the Timberwolves.