Kobe Bryant defends Jimmy Butler's confrontational Wolves practice
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is no stranger to fiery competition, so naturally he came to the defense of the newest member of the Philadelphia 76ers: Jimmy Butler.
Butler has been all over the news since he asked for the Minnesota Timberwolves to trade him in September. During an early practice, Butler even cursed out teammates after questioning their competitive edge.
If that sounded like something that Kobe would’ve done, it’s because it is something Kobe did. And in an interview on Barstool’s The Corp podcast with Alex Rodriguez and Dan Katz, Bryant defended Butler.
“I think most of my teams would just call it a Monday,” Bryant said. “They’d just call it a Monday; it’s just a regular practice.”
Kobe talks about practice
Bryant is never one to shy away from sharing his opinion, and he was happy to further discuss his competitive spirit. Bryant credits that edge in part for his five championships, all of which were under head coach Phil Jackson.
“Practices are meant to be competitive. They’re meant to be competitive,” Bryant added. “If your practices aren’t more competitive than the games themselves, you’re doing the wrong thing. Most of these teams and coaches have gotten into a mindset of resting players. ‘It’s too much, we’re not going to practice. Light day, light day, light day.’Phil never gave us a light day. There’s no days off. You show up and you work. You practice. And practices are going to be worse. They’re going to be physical, there’s going to be more trash talking, and I’m going to let you know. If you didn’t show up today, I’m going to let you know. It’s going to be embarrassing, you’re going to hate it, but when Game 7 rolls around of the NBA Finals, you will be prepared.”
More Kobe connections with the 76ers
Bryant isn’t only in the news with the 76ers because of his comments on Butler, he also has a connection with embattled former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz.
Since Fultz has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, the Sixers will have him work with renowned physical therapist Dr. Judy Seto. A former Lakers employee, Seto worked heavily with Bryant on his pregame preparation and also worked with current 76ers GM Elton Brand.
Seto got the nickname “Secret Weapon” from Bryant, so perhaps she can help Fultz fix his shooting woes and get back to full health.