So, two things first: I’ve never watched a single minute of “Game of Thrones.” Whatever you think of me for that, know that it won’t bother me one way or the other.
But as the Timberwolves editor at the Star Tribune for this past season, I intensely lived the seven-week span of Jimmy Butler’s trade request and the eventual deal that sent him to Philadelphia.
And my rudimentary knowledge of what GoT is about is more than enough for me to enjoy tremendously the latest “Game of Zones” from Bleacher Report. In this case, the parody in the style of the TV show hit a very familiar target: the Butler drama. Specifically, it zeros in on Butler’s infamous return to practice as trade talks dragged on.
My favorite flourishes:
*Mascot Crunch picking up a scroll in the beginning that reads: “Lord Morey, I am sorry to inform you that we must decline your offer of four first-round picks for Ser. Butler. Sincerely, Lord Thibs.”
*In a nod to Butler reportedly beating Wolves regulars in a scrimmage with a bunch of third-stringers when he returned to practice, Butler in the episode picks two peasants, “the muffin maker’s boy and that there mangy goat” as his teammates. Butler is also heard yelling: “Hallelujah, Wiggins! Should I send your bones to your brother?” And Tom Thibodeau says: “If you’re not mortally wounded, you can still play 48 minutes.”
*As the scene turns to chaos amid denials from Thibodeau, he is finally forced to admit it. “Well, I do suppose I like Robert Covington’s hustle,” he says.
There’s a violence and language warning. But it’s extremely well done. Here it is in full: