The Philadelphia 76ers were hopeful to re-sign Jimmy Butler in the summer, but the swingman ultimately decided to leave the city of brotherly love and go play with the Miami Heat, surprising a lot of fans and analysts.
Instead of joining a team with another star and forming a title contender, the four-time All-Star opted to relocate to South Florida for a four-year, $142 million contract. This was seen as a move to release pressure off his shoulders and get easy money in a team with little to no aspirations to win a championship.
“I tried to get to Miami earlier than June, if you remember me coming out of Minnesota,” Butler told Yahoo Sports, referring to his trade request last season. “So, people are overlooking all the facts.”
Now, four months after Butler made that decision, the Heat are off to a 5-1 start and only his former team, the 5-0 Philadelphia 76ers, has a better record. They have been doing great stuff, winning good matches, including a 129-100 victory over one of the favorites to win the title, the Houston Rockets.
Jimmy has finally addressed his decision and the reactions to it, labeling them as disrespectful, as he’s now relishing in the team’s early success.
“Mother——s act like I’m not a good basketball player,” Butler told Yahoo Sports. “Like for real. Just think about that. Like I can’t come in and make a huge difference. I’m not going to say ‘carry a team’ because nobody can do it by themselves and I mean that. I’m not putting it all on myself, but I know what I’m capable of. I know what I bring to any and all situations, and the group of guys that we have is the group of guys that I want to play with.
“When I look down the line and as we’re talking about it as an organization on this roster, I know what these guys are capable of. These guys are built like me. We’re one in the same and so they’re only going to get better and they’re not going to get complacent. This is me. I see myself in every one of these guys around this locker room.”
The Heat are getting formidable contributions from rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro, who have led the team at some point during the first days of competition. Added to the likes of Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson, Miami is developing good chemistry that can make them a successful team.