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Jimmy Butler “aggressively challenged” Brett Brown

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NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Clippers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowksi, Jimmy Butler has “aggressively challenged” Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown over Butler’s role within the Sixers’ offense:

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Jimmy Butler has aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on his role in the offense, complicating an already tenuous chemistry among the team’s Big 3 hierarchy, league sources told ESPN.

Butler has been vocal in his contesting of Brown and his system, including a recent film session in Portland that some witnesses considered “disrespectful” and 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.

First, let me say that I suggest reading the entire report.

Now, let’s react. It seems as though our worst fears about acquiring Jimmy Butler may already be manifesting. Sixers fans need not sound the alarm just yet, but this situation is volatile.

Joel Embiid recently told Serena Winters after a game that he had been unhappy lately. He didn’t say why, but one could infer that it had something to do with the team dynamic since Butler became a Sixer. Or maybe not — maybe Embiid has no issue at all with Butler. Even still, Jimmy challenging Brett Brown, especially during a film session in front of “witnesses” (I’d guess teammates or coaches), is uncalled for and disrespectful.

It’s also an indication that Butler could indeed be a malcontent who likes to rock the boat. It’s too early to conclude that with absolute conviction, but the report itself says that a league source questions whether or not Philly is a good long-term match with Butler. And that, to me, is one of the bigger concerns from this report.

Now to be fair, this could be blown out of proportion. Judging by Butler’s infamous practice session, Butler may have gotten away with this sort of behavior under Tom Thibodeau, and maybe Brett Brown and the Sixers have already made it clear how things stand internally: “We appreciate your passion, but don’t let this happen again — that’s not how we do things here.” In any event, Brett Brown and Elton Brand need to get things under control.