Wednesday night’s exchange between Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler and Stephen Jackson had NBA Twitter on its heels
The NBA drama machine is in midseason form
11:35 AMWe are still weeks away from opening night, and yet the NBA drama machine is already in midseason form.
After it was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday that Jimmy Butler wanted out of the Minnesota Timberwolves organization by way of the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks or Los Angeles Clippers, the wheels began to fall off the proverbial Minnesota cart, although it seems safe to say those tires have been greased for a minute.
The drama began outside the organization when Nick Wiggins, brother of Wolves guard Andrew Wiggins, tweeted “Hallelujah” when he found out Butler could be leaving Minnesota. He later deleted the tweet.
It seems that Nick Wiggins (brother of the Wolves SF Andrew Wiggins) is quite excited to hear Jimmy is leaving town 🤭👀 pic.twitter.com/xyxXaQhfeH
— •Association Addict• (@AA_BallTalk) September 19, 2018
Butler, ever the comedian, mocked Nick Wiggins with a shot of his own, posting a video on his Instagram Story in which he says, “Hallelujah, keep that same energy.”
Jimmy ain’t worried about nothing 🤷♂️
(via jimmybutler/IG) pic.twitter.com/hUQyvMcCej
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) September 20, 2018
From that point, NBA Twitter reached for the popcorn, sat back and strapped in for what would undoubtedly be an entertaining exchange.
What took the exchange to the next level was a Power-sized plot twist in which Stephen Jackson — aka Captain Jack, aka Stack, aka Leader of the Malice at the Palace — decided to post a video to Instagram calling out Andrew Wiggins. In the video, Jackson let Andrew Wiggins know he doesn’t think he plays with heart and that his brother should have kept the Twitter fingers to himself.
Enter Andrew Wiggins.
Not to be outdone, Andrew Wiggins then posted to his Instagram Story, firing a shot at Stack. Which, upon reflection, may not have been the best business decision.
“Old dudes stay hating like he was anything special bum a– … I keep that same energy everywhere I go!” the post read.
Andrew Wiggins then deleted the post … ONLY TO REPOST THE SAME STORY, BUT THIS TIME HE @’s CAPTAIN JACK. Andrew Wiggins wanted to ensure the smoke was funneled toward the right target.
Andrew Wiggins deleted his initial post and uploaded a new one apparently addressed to Stephen Jackson (SJ) pic.twitter.com/6ePQC1edDp
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 20, 2018
On some tag team, brotherly energy, Nick Wiggins also responded.
You’re wrong if you thought Jackson was going to let Andrew Wiggins have the last word. He posted another video to his Instagram with the caption “Have a good yr lil one. This ain’t the smoke u won’t. God bless. Somebody @ Lil one for me. Wish u the best.”
In the video he says:
“You got a lot of talent, kid. I hope you have a good year. I hope somewhere you can find some heart and find some passion for the game and have a good year. I really wish you the best.
“Bum? I never been that, you know that. I’m from the old school, I’m cut under the old law. … Make sure your energy straight when you see me, bruh. Aight? I’m pretty sure you know where I am. … I’ll catch ya in traffic, 100.”
We’re not even sure what “cut under the old law” means, but we get the message, Captain Jack.
If it wasn’t clear that Jackson took this round clean, he also claimed several more with this reply to Nick Wiggins in which he takes his entire life.
Nooooo he wasn’t ready pic.twitter.com/MMDip6v3Ic
— Duggan Parks (@dparks_7) September 20, 2018
Let’s get ready to rumble on Oct. 17 — Minnesota’s first game of the season!
Picture this: Kawhi and Kobe together in California
The Raptors forward worked out with the Lakers legend in Newport Beach
11:43 AMKawhi Leonard will soon be in Toronto in preparation for his first season with the Raptors. The two-time NBA All-Star forward will be a free agent next summer, but a source has told The Undefeated that he will be open-minded about re-signing with the Raptors.
Even so, the Los Angeles-area native posing with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant after working out in Newport Beach, California, on Thursday night will only add to the intrigue of Leonard potentially coming home to sign with the Lakers. While Leonard was injured with the San Antonio Spurs last season, there were numerous reports that he wanted to resume his career in Los Angeles.
View this post on Instagram
Working on a few things, #details … @kobebryant appreciate you #sharing your #greatness and time. #gainknowledge to #shareknowledge @raptors we are getting ready. @itsjerms_33 @boch2boch @success_mindset you cats stay in #beastmode #mambamentality #theghost #kobe #theworkisreal #gamechanger #hardworkisundefeated #beyourowngoat #94feetofgame #thegrindontstop ✌🏽
Leonard also worked out with new Lakers forward LeBron James, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman several weeks ago at UCLA. While Durant and Osman were there, much of the social media intrigue was about Leonard and James working out together and perhaps joining forces with the Lakers.
Raptors fans, however, should be well-aware that their basketball staff members Phil Handy (who posted the photo), John Corbacio and Jeremy Castleberry attended both workouts with Leonard. Also, Handy, a new Raptors assistant coach, previously worked with Bryant with the Lakers and James and Osman with the Cavaliers. Spurs assistant coach Chip Engelland also once helped Leonard improve his shooting form by using examples of Bryant, who has also worked out with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Kuzma and Candace Parker this offseason.