After Jimmy Butler’s 40 points game-winning performance, coach Spoelstra reminisces about the time Wade told them Jimmy was their guy
Jimmy Butler did not have the easiest route getting to Miami. He was drafted at #30 by the Bulls in 2011, but he wasn’t given any more than 8.5min in his rookie season.
Despite all of that, Jimmy just kept pushing harder. Joakim Noah, then Bulls center remembers and said, “Jimmy went from the 15th player on the team, the last player coming off the bench, to the star player of the team in four years.”
Jimmy pushed for a max deal worth $90 mil in 2014 offseason, just before he had the 2014-15 breakout season. Although it paid off, the pushing for the contract deteriorated the strong relations between Jimmy and the Bulls.
Joakim Noah and Butler, who were once close had a falling out and the Bulls decide to make Jimmy their guy, trading Noah and Rose away. They got Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo in, thinking about their ‘Three Alphas” experiment, but unfortunately, that did not work out. Jimmy and Wade did end up getting close because of the same though.
“This is your guy. This is the next guy.”: Coach Spo recalls what Dwyane Wade had told him
After a year of unsuccessful campaigns in Bulls and Cavs, Wade returned to Miami for his final season. As soon as Wade was back, he had a message for Coach Spo and Pat Riley. “He said [Butler is] our kind of guy,” Spoelstra said. “He’s a Heat guy. Whether that could happen or would happen, he just said, ‘This guy is like us.'”
Erik Spoelstra explains that Dwyane Wade swore to him and Pat Riley that Jimmy Butler would be the player who could win these games for the Heat, “This is your guy. This is the next guy.” pic.twitter.com/7rFnU2DFPE
— Will Manso (@WillManso) October 5, 2020
The Heat management thought about it a lot and decided to sign Jimmy after Wade’s farewell season. They believed he could lead Miami back to the top, and he hasn’t disappointed.
Jimmy in Miami
Jimmy Butler came to the Heat with a bad reputation around him. Every media house called him a bad teammate and that kind of made the Heat players a bit nervous for the same. The first time the Heat players decide to workout with Butler, they decided to meet at 6 am.
Robinson got there at 5.15 am, to be there early and he saw Jimmy there already covered in sweat. It was then when the Heat players realized what Jimmy wanted. He wanted players to keep working and improving, and he would always help them do so.
Butler has proven to be a good leader in Miami and led them to their first Finals appearance since 2014. The Heat culture has really suited Butler and he has shown tremendous overall improvement. He really enjoys playing with this Heat team. Jimmy says he doesn’t have to be the best player on the court every night, and he can rely on his teammates, which is something he says he couldn’t before.
Miami has a young core, and if they can manage to keep the squad together, they can soar and dominate the league for years to come.