Sixers’ Jimmy Butler not worried about current secondary role, ‘I’m all for winning’
Butler gave everyone in the Sixers' basketball operations side of the organization — including cooks, the cleaning crew, secretaries and team doctors — a pair of Air Jordan sneakers as a thank-you gift.
As a 76er, Jimmy Butler is averaging the fewest minutes he's played since his second NBA season.
He's also averaging the fewest shot attempts since his third season. And the four-time NBA All-Star is coming off a un-Butler-like seven-point outing in Wednesday's 117-91 victory over the New York Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center.
These is not the type of numbers a perceived ball-dominant player is satisfied with, right?
"I don't care how many points I score, how many shots I shoot," Butler said. "I've always been like that. I always will continue to be that way. Just win at all cost."
The eighth-year veteran is averaging 18.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.0 steals, 13 shot attempts and 33.8 minutes through eight games with the Sixers (15-8).
The last time Butler didn't average at least 20 points and 14 shot attempts was during the 2013-14 season, when he averaged 13.1 points and 10.3 attempts.
This is far from the production skeptics thought Butler would be happy with.
Some around the NBA believed he would demand the ball after being acquired in a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 12. Instead, he defers to teammates and only takes over games when he needs to do so.
Butler did that Sunday night, scoring 18 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter of the 127-125 road victory over the Brooklyn Nets. He made all seven of his fourth-quarter attempts, and none was bigger than his game-winning three-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining.
Yet, he was basically a bystander in Wednesday's victory.
Regardless of his usage, Butler, as one of the league's top players, is expected to earn another All-Star selection this season. Perhaps realizing that is why he be fine with his role.
"I'm a good basketball player," Butler said. "When my time comes, my time comes. Like I said, I'm all for winning. I'm not worried about being an All-Star. I'm not worried about that, any of that stuff.
"I think winning takes care of everything. Winning helps everybody look great."
That's all he's concerned about.
The only opinions that matter are his teammates and folks in the Sixers' organization.
"From what I know, I'm doing a really good job," Butler said.
In more ways than one, Butler gave everyone in the Sixers' basketball operations side of the organization — including cooks, the cleaning crew, secretaries and team doctors — a pair of Air Jordan sneakers as a thank-you gift. In all, he gave out around 67 pairs of sneakers.
Fultz attends practice
Markelle Fultz attended Thursday's practice. The second-year guard, who did not participate, watched teammates go through drills.
He returned from New York on Wednesday after seeing several specialists. That came after his agent, Raymond Brothers, told the Sixers last week that Fultz, who had played 19 games this season with 15 starts, would not practice or play until he saw a shoulder specialist. It's unsure if he'll see another doctor this week. Fultz also is dealing with a right wrist injury. Wednesday's home game against the New York Knicks will mark the fourth game he has missed.
The Sixers host the Washington Wizards at 7 p.m. Friday at the Wells Fargo Center. The team is awaiting a decision on the next step for Fultz.
Sources have long said that his shooting woes were mental and that Fultz was dealing with the yips.