Jimmy Butler plans to finish his NBA career with the Miami Heat.
The six-time All-Star entered the league with the Chicago Bulls, so he was trained to dislike the Heat since Chicago and Miami were rivals. However, Butler became close with Heat legend Dwyane Wade when the two were teammates with the Bulls in 2015-16, and that relationship changed Butler’s perspective.
“When I’m coming into the league, the Heat used to beat the Bulls all the time when they had the Big 3, the Heatles, whatever you want to call them,” Butler told Malika Andrews of ESPN. “So me getting drafted to the Bulls, we can’t like the Miami Heat. You can’t like D-Wade even though you went to the same school.
“Then you fast forward, and I’m playing with D-Wade with the Bulls, I’m like, ‘This guy is not a bad guy.’ It was just [Tom Thibodeau] that kept hitting me upside my head. And now, full circle, it’ll be the last jersey that I wear.”
Butler signed with the Heat in the summer of 2019 as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Miami has made the playoffs every year since Butler came to South Beach and reached two NBA Finals.
In 231 regular-season games with the Heat, Butler is averaging 21.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. The swingman is averaging 28.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.1 steals in the 2023 playoffs while shooting 48.3% from the field and 35.6% from beyond the arc.
“I would like to say that I’m never rattled,” Butler said during the Heat’s NBA Finals media day. “I’m very calm. I’m very consistent in everything that I do, whether it’s before the game, after the game, during the game, and I think when my guys look at me like that, they follow suit in every single way. I love that about them because they’re never shook. No matter what. We could be down, people can think that we’re out, and all of a sudden we’re right back in this thing and it’s because we do the same thing every day. We love being around each other.”