Amid Jimmy Butler trade talks between Heat and Wolves, Pat Riley denies cursing at Tom Thibodeau
Riley reportedly hung up on Thibs when pushed for more assets at the last minute, but the Heat president says that's not true
The Jimmy Butler saga has entered a new phase this week, with the All-Star forward returning to Minnesota. He at practice, reportedly challenging everyone from Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden to Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Following the incident, both Butler and the Timberwolves are to begin the season together, though the Heat are still apparently interested in a potential trade.
Last weekend, the two sides nearly completed a deal, according to reports, but it fell apart at the last minute. In the aftermath of that deal crumbling, a report from Jorge Sedano of ESPN stated that the breaking point was Thibodeau's last-second request for more assets, which led to Heat president Pat Riley calling him a "mother------" and hanging up. Via Sedano's Los Angeles radio show, as transcribed by Deadspin (warning: headline NSFW:)
The medicals were exchanged, which generally in the NBA means this is a done deal. And then, Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley literally—I was told—called him a motherbleeper and hung up the phone.
Late on Friday night, however, Riley denied doing so and issued a statement, which was released on Twitter. But in classic Riley fashion, there had to be another layer to his words.
"As to what has been reported in the past 24 hours, I have too much respect for Tom Thibodeau and all that he's accomplished in this league. Our conversations have been nothing but cordial and I have never used that kind of language in negotiations," Riley said, before closing with "but I do admit to telling Danny Ainge to ..."
So, in essence, Riley released a statement on Twitter through the Heat's official account, in which he said "I never called Tom Thibodeau a "mother------" but I did tell Danny Ainge to "shut the f--- up."
Incredible. This league is amazing.
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