The NBA media can be quite reactionary at times, and they tend to remember players' lower moments perhaps longer than they should. This gets held against those players until they perform at an elite level again and then they become subject to praise once more. This is perhaps most evident when it comes to Jimmy Butler, who after being maligned a fair bit after the 2021 playoffs is now earning comparisons to Michael Jordan.
The likes of Stephen A. Smith and even Skip Bayless are now praising Butler, especially after his stellar performance against the Boston Celtics in Game 1. But now that he is back on top, Butler isn't feeling gracious enough to let the media off the hook. According to Stephen A. Smith, he called out the media and told them that they had been sleeping on him all season:
"Stephen A., in his ESPN post-game report, says Jimmy Butler texted him after winning the series against Philadelphia and said: 'You and everybody else have slept on me.'"
Butler isn't one to normally be fazed by what people are saying about him. He has always let his game do the talking and taken the next step whenever possible. If he carries on playing the way he has and carries the Heat to the NBA Finals one more time, then he will certainly back up the belief some people have that he is now the best player left in the playoffs.
The task will be difficult, the Celtics are not a team that will roll over easily for the Heat, and they have already beaten two good teams in the Nets and the Bucks on their way to the Finals. Butler will need his teammates to step up alongside him but if they can, it promises to be a special season for the Miami Heat, who last won the NBA championship in 2013.