Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jimmy Butler
Betting Odds: Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers
- Spread: 76ers -7.5
- Over/Under: 228
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
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In the midst of the controversy about his difficult personality in team contexts, Jimmy Butler faces the Washington Wizards Tuesday night.
Butler had a reportedly “confrontational” film session in which he crossed the line of professionalism, according to ESPN sources. Brett Brown has wisely — regardless of what happened in the film session — denied the incident as it was characterized, and Butler has echoed the same sentiment.
No one is surprised by this development.
Butler has had issues in Chicago with Fred Hoiberg, in Minnesota with… everyone and now in Philadelphia with Brett Brown.
Part of the interesting question related to this debacle for me was “Who leaked it?” The key to understanding any NBA controversy like this is asking who stood to gain from the leak.
Here’s a hint: It wasn’t Brett Brown.
Brown gains nothing from this, nor do his assistants. Brown comes off looking weak for being bullied by the star player, and even if his assistants were looking to stick up for him, they would know it would bring undue attention and only further strain Brown’s relationship with Butler.
I’m not going to sit here and speculate on who those sources were; Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski are exceptionally connected among all sports reporters worldwide. You can bet the information was vetted and reliable from multiple contacts and not just the product of an individual wanting to skew things.
However, when you look at things like this, as a reader, you should ask yourself what purpose the leak was meant to have, and that pretty clearly looks like it was meant to try and get Butler to chill out.