Miami Heat centre, Meyers Leonard, in a recent interaction with The Rush, rubbished claims of Jimmy Butler being a bad teammate. Leonard said, “The thing about Jimmy is, first of all, he obviously completely destroyed any and all narratives about him being an [BLEEP] and a bad teammate. Let me tell you something. I’ve been in the league for eight years. That’s a good dude right there and a good teammate, by the way — like, really cares about people.”
The Heat centre was a big presence in the Miami Heat bench. He was one of the loudest voices in the bubble and was essential in rallying his teammates during their run to the finals.
Jimmy Butler and his Controversial moves
Jimmy Butler has been in the NBA for 11 years now. Even though he is an outstanding player, pundits have always doubted his attitude and mentality. In his 6 years at Chicago, Butler became a regular in the all-star week, but then his trade to Minnesota happened. Chicago clearly wanted a rebuild and let go of Jimmy.
The first season at Timberwolves was very productive for Butler, leading the team to their first playoff appearance since 2003-04. But things went south after the first year.
The Timberwolves blamed Butler for the disappointing playoff run, but Jimmy was vocal about his teammates Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins underperforming. There was absolute chaos in the dressing room. Butler’s frustration was through the roof and he finally got his trade. This time to the 76ers.
The 76ers team of Butler, Simmons, and Embiid seems good on paper, but in reality, there was no chemistry. Butler later revealed his displeasure with the management.
The Butler and The Heat: Made for each other
Then his move to Miami happened. Jimmy and the Heat were not the team to beat during the start of the season. But Butler proved everyone wrong. He became the leader that the Heat were missing and was crucial in the development of the players like Adebayo and Herro. Further, he took on the duty of distributing the ball.
Butler fit into the Heat mentality of playing hard. This time, there were no complaints from any side. Erik Spoelstra as a coach couldn’t have been happier with the Heat’s performance in the playoffs. In route to reach the final, the Heat defeated the Pacers, the Bucks, and the Celtics, losing only 4 games in three series.
In their clash against the Los Angeles Lakers, Butler was phenomenal. Butler and a depleted Heat side challenged LeBron and his Lakers and even took the series to six games. If not for crucial injuries to Adebayo and Dragic, we might have had a different conversation altogether.
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are a very attractive destination for free agents and are surely a contender for becoming the best in the East.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops