Jimmy Butler called Travelle Gaines “my trainer, my guy,’’ but the three-time All-Star insisted Friday that he has very little to do with the tweet heard around the NBA on Thursday night.
Shortly after it was announced that the Bulls had sent Butler to the Timberwolves, Gaines — Butler’s long-time trainer — tweeted out, “0-82. Worst culture in the league. I met drug dealers with better morals then their GM. He is a liar and everyone knows,’’ referring to Bulls general manager Gar Forman.
Butler, who has been with Gaines in Europe to continue his offseason workout routine, saw the tweet and said he didn’t necessarily share those same feelings.
“I don’t control what he says,’’ Butler said in a phone interview. “He’s his own person. We’ll talk about it [afterward], obviously, but I don’t control what he says on social media. That’s his. There’s no right in me to tell him what he can or cannot do.
“[His message] doesn’t say much about [my feelings]. That’s Travelle Gaines. He’s my trainer, my guy, and you can say what you want to say about it, but [that tweet] has very little to do with me, to tell you the truth. Yes, I know what he said. Yes, I saw it, but that’s his take on it. I didn’t say that. I didn’t post anything like that.’’
Butler kept his feelings about Forman very simple.
“They drafted me in 2011 — thank you for that,’’ Butler said. “Thank you for the opportunity all these years, the teammates that I played with, learned from. That’s what I’ve got to say to [Forman and VP of basketball operations John Paxson]. If they don’t think [Gaines’ tweet] was professional, that’s for them to take up with Travelle. I’m not in the middle of that.’’
Forman claimed he didn’t lie to Butler in their meeting a few weeks ago, and “you’d have to ask Travelle what he meant by it.’’
Forman and Paxson, however, did say that Gaines’ tweet was yet another black eye on the already beaten-up reputation of the Bulls front office.
“Well, I know this, that when we get people in our building and they get to know us, then they judge [for] themselves,’’ Paxson said. “That’s, to me, the bottom line. So, no, I’m not worried.’’