Butler has a great relationship with Joel Embiid, the top star in Philly, and he seemed to be a terrific fit in a city that really appreciates a player of his gritty demeanor.
However, Butler revealed in an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that some things went on behind closed doors that led to his decision.
“Stuff just don’t work out. Nobody knows what really went on in Philly and we’re going to leave it that way,” Butler said. “But it was a great opportunity for me.
“Just go with your gut. You’re not dumb. All of that will come out whenever it’s time,” he added when pressed on the situation. “Right now is not the time. I’m locked in with this. I’m happy, man. I’m smiling and my guys want me to be here, my organization wants me to be here, I want to be here and we’re going to ride this thing until the wheels fall off. I’m not saying Philly wasn’t great, man. We had some really good players. I talk to Joel [Embiid] damn near every f—–g day. It’s a brotherhood, man. I love that guy. I’m going to always have his back and I know he’ll always have mine.”
Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid Still Tight
Embiid has expressed this season that he wishes Butler could have stayed with the Sixers and that they were building something special in Philly. He even tagged Butler when he went on a social media attack against Karl-Anthony Towns following their fight.
Butler was the team’s top option in crunch time and averaged 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game with the Sixers. He also providing a much needed defense presence with nearly 2 steals and a block per game.
Jimmy Butler Laments Being Under Recruited in Free Agency
It’s still to be seen if Butler — who has played on four teams since 2016 — can be the best player on a championship. But the Heat, who are off to a 5-1 start, are hoping he can be.
While talking to Haynes, Butler expressed much frustration with not being one of the most talked about free agents last year when guys like Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant were making their choices.
Butler now sees this season as a sort of revenge tour, as he tries to lead the Heat to the playoffs for just the third time in six years.
“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.”
In a hilarious interview with on Vince Carter’s podcast “Winging It,” Butler dropped some hilarious shade on Lance Stephenson — who is currently playing in China — when it came to his recruitment struggles.
“I always saw Lance Stephenson,” Butler said. I saw him and I was like nah man if he in the league then I can be in the league.”
Just Jimmy being Jimmy. The Heat and Sixers meet up for the first time this season Nov. 23.