Jimmy Butler pumping up Joel Embiid does the "he's a bad teammate" argument no favors
Everything you've read or heard about Jimmy Butler this past year would lead you to believe he's a bad teammate. He's a diva, he's difficult to deal with, a lot to handle for a coach, hard on teammates, etc., etc. For teams considering giving him a max deal this offseason in free agency, these are all legitimate concerns (and they could all still be true). A video clip from Game 3 of the Philadelphia Sixers vs. Toronto Raptors series on Friday night might slightly alter that narrative.
At some point late in the game, Butler dished the ball to big man Joel Embiid beyond the three-point line, screaming at him to "SHOOT IT." Embiid, who finished with 33 points on 9-for-18 shooting from the field, did indeed shoot it, burying one of his three three-point makes on the night. "That's why you shoot it!!" Butler screamed afterwards. Check out the full mic'd up video below, which includes more chatter from Butler to Embiid while they're on the bench during a timeout:
In his previous two stops in Chicago and Minnesota, Butler was the clear cut No. 1 guy, so to see him deferring to Philly's true franchise player has to be a beautiful sight for Sixers fans. That's not to say Jimmy Buckets isn't doing Jimmy Buckets things this series either. In Game 2 he dropped 30 points, grabbed 10 boards and had five assists, and hit big shot after big shot late in the game. On Friday night he had 22, and added nine assists and nine boards. If he and Embiid continue to coexist like this in these playoffs, they could do some real damage, which likely still wouldn't be enough to get past Golden State. But Warriors haters can dream for the time being.