76ers' Brett Brown downplays reported drama with Jimmy Butler
The Sixers coach thinks that reports of internal strife are overblown
Despite a recent report that Philadelphia 76ers forward Jimmy Butler "aggressively challenged" head coach Brett Brown about his role within the team's offense and even called out Brown in a recent film session, all is well between the two, according to Brown.
"I have had many meetings with Jimmy over the duration since I have coached him," Brown said to media members prior to the Sixers match-up against the Dallas Mavericks in Philadelphia on Saturday night. "I enjoy it. I don't mind talking to my players. In that film session that was referenced, I didn't feel like any of that crossed the line, and if it did, it would have been dealt with, quickly... We'll move on."
Brown went on to say that he thought the report was actually unfair to Butler.
"I think in a crazy way it's unfair to Jimmy Butler," Brown said. "The history that Jimmy has had with other programs, other coaches, that's not fair with the description of that particular film session that was referenced. In my eyes that's not it. And if it crossed a line, we would talk about it soon, and I would own it, and it would be fixed."
Brown doesn't plan to alter the team's offensive approach, though he does sound open to accommodating Butler's desire to be used in more pick-and-roll and isolation situations, which he will attempt to do on Tuesday night when the Sixers host the Wizards (7 p.m. ET -- Watch on FuboTV with NBA League Pass extension).
"He wanted to be in more pick and rolls. That was true," Brown said. "My job is to make this work."
Ironically enough, Butler expressed excitement about playing in Philadelphia's free-flowing system – as opposed to his traditional isolation/pick play – at his introductory press conference with the Sixers in November.
"I had the ball a lot when I was in Minnesota, but that doesn't mean I can't play the style of basketball that's played here," Butler said. "That was just what I was asked to do when I was there. I don't think that's a problem. I'm great at sharing the ball, moving without the ball. If I need the ball, I'll go steal it, go the other end and lay it up. Go get an offensive rebound.
"There's more than one way to get the ball. I think the way these guys play, sharing the ball, setting screens, slipping, all of that good stuff, I think that's actually easier than having to create all the time in iso situations and off the pick-and-roll."
Since joining the Sixers, Butler has averaged 18 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.9 steals in 31.7 minutes per game, while the team has gone 16-5 in games that he has played.
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