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Knicks' Tom Thibodeau responds to Jimmy Butler rant with startling admission

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New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau had a hilarious comeback to Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler‘s playful jab. When asked about Butler’s recent comments, Thibodeau responded with a sassy, “Who?” followed by a mischievous smile, as if he didn’t know his former player. “I don’t know him. But I’ll beat him to a pulp,” Thibodeau quipped, keeping the banter light and fun.

Butler, known for his no-filter attitude, stirred the pot in a social media video where he boasted that if he had been healthy, the Heat would’ve easily dispatched the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs‘ first round and later the Knicks. Not stopping there, Butler threw a cheeky challenge at Thibodeau, saying, “If I was playing, Boston would be at home, New York damn sure would be at home. Josh Hart? C’mon man.”

Despite the spicy exchange, it’s clear there’s a deep-seated respect and fondness between the two. Having worked together at two different NBA stops, including a tumultuous tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the bond they’ve formed through countless battles on and off the court is undeniable. ESPN’s Nick Friedell captured this sentiment in a May 2023 profile, noting their mutual admiration that’s only grown stronger over the years.

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Even in jest, Butler couldn’t help but throw a light-hearted jab at his former coach, saying, “F–k Thibs,” then immediately adding, “F–k your article. And I like Thibs,” showing his playful side in what could otherwise be seen as a tense relationship.

While the duo may never team up again, given Butler’s age and the Knicks’ current trajectory under Thibodeau’s leadership, fans might still hold out hope for an electrifying playoff showdown between the coach and his outspoken former star. The NBA court might just turn into the stage for some top-tier entertainment if these two get to face off again. Stay tuned, because this rivalry is as entertaining off the court as it is on it!

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