“Jimmy, he really wanted to be in Miami,” Dwyane Wade told me.
“He wanted to be apart of the culture that Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra, myself and Udonis have held up and created.”
Dwyane Wade, 37 retired at the end of last season. The former NBA elder statesman, a three-time NBA champion, announced his farewell NBA tour before the beginning of the 2017-2018 season.
Once upon a time, Wade was the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft coming out of Marquette.
The speedy rookie guard got the world’s attention in game one of the Heat’s first round playoff series against the New Orleans Hornets in 2004.
With 1.3 seconds remaining and tied at 79 apiece, Wade hit Hornets point guard Baron Davis with an ankle breaker crossover and drove to the basket making a running jumper amid the outstretched arm of Hornets center Jamaal Magloire. The basket gave the Heat a 81-79 victory and Miami would end up winning the series in seven games.
“I knew he was a special player even back then,” Wade’s former Miami Heat teammate, Wade’s former Heat teammate, Rafer Alston, told me.
In his final season, Wade averaged 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
Jimmy Butler played for the Philadelphia 76ers last season.
Sixers’ Jimmy Butler Trade
The Sixers ultimately won the Butler sweepstakes last offseason in a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves that shipped Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2020 second-round pick for Butler and forward Justin Patton in November.
Jimmy was solid. He teamed with All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid who would eventually have a second-round NBA playoff defeat to eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors.
Butler was a veteran in that locker room. The forward averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and four assists for the City of Brotherly Love during the 2018-2019 season.
Now he’s in South beach.
What does it all mean? “I think it’s going to fare well with him,” Dwyane Wade tells me.
“And I think the guys on the team will be energized to have a guy like Jimmy there to push them. So, I look forward to them having a way better season obviously then we did the last seasons here in Miami.”
In addition to Jimmy Butler, the Heat have rookie Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic, Udonis Haslem, Meyers Leonard, Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Bam Adebayo and Justice Winslow on their roster under longtime head coach, Erik Spoelstra.
The team’s season begins next month.