With plenty to say, Wolves’ But­ler re­turns

The Washington Post - - SPORTS -

Jimmy But­ler is back with the Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves, and his first prac­tice of the sea­son had fire­works.

He caused them — with his words and his play.

But­ler, who asked for a trade more than three weeks ago, prac­ticed with the Tim­ber­wolves for the first time this sea­son Wed­nes­day. ESPN re­ported that But­ler ver­bally chal­lenged play­ers, coaches and even Gen­eral Man­ager Scott Lay­den in the prac­tice, dur­ing which But­ler dom­i­nated the team’s scrim­mages even when go­ing up against stars Karl-An­thony Towns and An­drew Wig­gins.

In an in­ter­view taped with ESPN af­ter prac­tice, But­ler ac­knowl­edged that “a lot” of the net­work’s re­port was true and that the scene in prac­tice was him just show­ing pas­sion and be­ing “bru­tally hon­est.”

“All my emo­tion came out at one time,” But­ler said in the in­ter­view. “Was it the right way to do it? No. But I can’t con­trol that when I’m out there com­pet­ing. That’s my love of the game. That’s raw me. Me at my finest, me at my purest. That’s what you’re go­ing to get in­side the lines.”

The four-time all-star said he warned Coach Tom Thi­bodeau be­fore prac­tice that he would let his emo­tions out if he played, and that is ap­par­ently what hap­pened. . . .

Tex Win­ter, the in­no­va­tive “Tri­an­gle Of­fense” pi­o­neer who as­sisted Phil Jack­son on 11 NBA cham­pi­onship teams with the Chicago Bulls and Los An­ge­les Lak­ers, died at age 96. AUTO RAC­ING

There will not be an eighth NAS­CAR ti­tle for Jim­mie John­son and Chad Knaus.

Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports will split the driver and crew chief — the long­est pair­ing in NAS­CAR — at the end of a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son. John­son has not won a race in 17 months and was knocked out of the play­off in the first round. John­son and Knaus won their record-ty­ing sev­enth cham­pi­onship in 2016 but have slumped in the two years since.

John­son and Knaus were part­nered in 2002 when Knaus built the No. 48 team as part of a Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports ex­pan­sion. They won a record­ty­ing seven Cup Se­ries ti­tles and made the play­off in all 15 years of its ex­is­tence. TEN­NIS

Roger Fed­erer had to over­come a se­cond-set stut­ter. Juan Martin del Potro and Alexan­der Zverev had to over­come ill­ness.

All three still ad­vanced at the Shang­hai Mas­ters.

Fed­erer, the de­fend­ing cham­pion, beat Daniil Medvedev, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in the se­cond round de­spite be­ing bro­ken late in the se­cond set.

The third-seeded del Potro trailed in the first set and in the tiebreaker but re­bounded both times to beat Richard Gas­quet, 7-5, 7-6 (9-7).

The fourth-seeded Zverev was also strug­gling with a cold, but he beat Ni­coloz Basi­lashvili, 7-5, 6-4. SOC­CER

Italy’s win­less streak reached five matches fol­low­ing a 1-1 draw with Ukraine in a friendly in Genoa — ex­tend­ing the Az­zurri’s poor run of form fol­low­ing their fail­ure to qual­ify for the World Cup.

Rus­lan Mali­novskyi got the equal­izer seven min­utes af­ter Fed­erico Bernarde­schi’s opener early in the se­cond half.

Italy has recorded only one vic­tory in 10 matches, a win over Saudi Ara­bia in a friendly in May. In com­pet­i­tive games, the Az­zurri haven’t won in more than a year. . . .

Sierra Leone’s two matches with Ghana in African Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fy­ing were can­celed, and it’s un­clear whether they will be resched­uled.

The Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball called off Sierra Leone’s matches against Ghana set for Thurs­day and Mon­day fol­low­ing FIFA’s de­ci­sion last week to sus­pend Sierra Leone’s soc­cer fed­er­a­tion for po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence. CY­CLING

Team Sky said the Tour de France tro­phy won by Geraint Thomas was stolen from a cy­cling show in Bri­tain.

The team said po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing af­ter the tro­phy dis­ap­peared dur­ing an event in Birm­ing­ham, where Team Sky dis­played the three Grand Tour tro­phies won by its riders. GOLF

Two-time U.S. Open cham­pion Retief Goosen and three-time ma­jor cham­pion Jan Stephen­son are among five peo­ple se­lected for in­duc­tion into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

A 16-mem­ber panel of mostly golf ad­min­is­tra­tors also se­lected re­tired Au­gusta Na­tional chair­man Billy Payne, LPGA char­ter mem­ber and renowned teacher Peggy Kirk Bell and Den­nis Wal­ters, who has been in­spir­ing golfers through clin­ics de­spite be­ing par­a­lyzed from the chest down since he was 24.

Goosen re­cov­ered from a light­ning strike to win 33 times world­wide, in­clud­ing U.S. Opens at South­ern Hills and Shin­necock Hills. Stephen­son won the LPGA Cham­pi­onship, U.S. Women’s Open and du Mau­rier Clas­sic among her 16 LPGA Tour ti­tles.

The in­duc­tion will be June 10, the Mon­day of the U.S. Open at Peb­ble Beach.

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