76ers All-Star Jimmy Butler has challenged, in a "disrespectful" way according to some witnesses, coach Brett Brown on his role in Philadelphia's offense, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.
Reporting with @ramonashelburne: Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler has aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on All-Star’s role in 76ers offense, complicating an already-tenuous chemistry among team’s Big 3 hierarchy. Story on ESPN. https://t.co/DYqEAZNzM1— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 4, 2019
Butler has been vocal in his contesting of Brown and his system, including a recent film session in Portland that some felt went beyond normal player-coach discourse.
Brown has told people within the organization that he had no issues with that exchange and considered it within the confines of the relationship that he's developed with Butler, sources said.
Butler's intense style has rubbed some people in the past wrong, which makes his fit with the organization long term a concern.
While a source close to Butler contends that his intense, direct style can come off as combative as he's trying to make clear his viewpoints, Butler's sluggish assimilation into the Sixers environment is causing some concern about his long-term viability and fit with the organization.
Ownership has been committed to making the Big 3 of Embiid, Simmons and Butler work, especially with Butler's free agency looming this summer.
The Sixers, who acquired Butler in a deal with Minnesota for Robert Covington and Dario Saric in mid-November, are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference and 14-8 since the deal.