Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau brought up a Kevin Garnett/ Jimmy Butler comparison unprompted on Thursday when I talked to him after Butler's introductory news conference at Mall of America.

Said Thibodeau: "I was around Kevin Garnett. ... When he played in the game, everything he did was about winning — making the extra pass if a guy was open. As great a shooter as Kevin was, the next guy always got the pass from him. When you ask what a great defensive player is, it's a multiple-effort guy. That's what Kevin was, and that's what Jimmy is."

That sort of deference to teammates, though, was used against Garnett just as it is Butler in describing why they are better suited for secondary instead of primary roles on great teams. If the worst things you can say about Garnett and Butler are that they're such good teammates on the court that they have a hard time being selfish … well, those are subjective faults at best.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. mrand@startribune.com