Analyst Defends ‘Heat Culture’ To Suns Announcer After Jimmy Butler Criticism

Getty LOS ANGELES - 1987: Michael Cooper #21 of the Los Angeles Lakers passes over Eddie Johnson #8 of the Phoenix Suns during an NBA game at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California in 1987. (Photo by: Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

There is something that the rest of the NBA totally misunderstands about what Heat Culture represents. This aspect of the Miami Heat did something very important for this organization- it created an identity.

What is usually misunderstood is often either feared or criticized, which is understandable when you saw Eddie Johnson came out on Thursday to criticize Jimmy Butler’s ejection against the Portland Trail Blazers.  To add to that, he also went after fans that came out to praise the team after their 104-92 victory over at FTX Arena.

The former player and now Suns announcer went to Twitter and took a swipe at the Heat All-Star, which did cause a stir within many within the team’s fanbase.

After this, Bally Sports announcer Jason Jackson decided to respond to Johnson’s “inquiry” and did so in a very eloquent manner while pointing out his past and how it is not a reflection on his brilliant career.

“I can help you here Eddie. #HEATCulture isn’t one thing & it isn’t everything. The ejection was frustration. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. You’re not proud OF ALL of your 14 techs and 2 flagrant fouls, and they don’t define you either. #HEATCulture is a way not a moment,” Jackson  tweeted. 

Johnson then continued to instigate with a reply.

Johnson would take it a step further and say, “I would call it LBJ, Shaq, D Wade, Riley and Spoelstra Culture,” Johnson wrote at the time. “Too bad the late-arriving fans to game who stay in [the] bar at halftime and then rip teams when they win about Heat culture on Twitter are not on board yet about the meaning of a culture!”

Evidently, the comments that eventually came viciously went after Johnson.

One even went as far as pointing out that the Suns general manager James Jones was part of Riley’s championship-winning sides in South Florida.

Heat fans continued to come to the defense of their team and Johnson decided to step away and said he was “asking” what the concept meant.

What Is Heat Culture?

There is a lot to talk about what this motto covers.

There is a  great deal misconstrued  in terms of what it is or is not.  When these types of things are are discussed, the esoteric or intangible makes it difficult to explain.  This is why many look at Heat Culture and just measure with just wins or losses.

Many think that there is this “South Beach” mystique. The organization embodied a work ethic and attitude that ironically is the complete opposite of what South Beach and the Armani-wearing, slick-haired tactician symbolized.

When Pat Riley was looking to construct this franchise into the vision of becoming “hardest working, best conditioned, most professional, most unselfish, toughest, meanest, nastiest, most disliked team in the NBA”.

In other words, this franchise was built in the mold and image of Riley from an internal vantagepoint.  That dogged, ferocity that turned him into one of the most successful basketball minds in the history of the game.

Pat Riley: The Architect of the Heat CultureMost NBA legends are remembered for the way they were able to impose their will and dominate opposing players on the floor; however, not all of them earned legend status by making impressive plays while running down the court. #Subscribe #PatRiley #Basketball2020-10-22T00:00:00Z

Up to this point, it has worked.  Just look at Eddie Johnson.

Heat Culture is what has allowed Miami to be competitive this year despite the personnel that is sent out on the court by Erik Spoelstra.

Miami Heat Culture Explained In 8 MinutesWhat is Heat Culture??? A lot of people think Heat Culture is a myth; Because of that, I've decided to put together just A FEW clips of Players, Coaches, etc sharing experiences, opinions, and what it means to play for or against Miami. Why do players come to Miami and rejuvenate their careers? Why is…2019-07-24T04:47:03Z

The Heat’s ethos relates more to the average person in Miami.  Beyond the façade that the world knows, there is a blue-collar city that is amongst one of the poorest cities in the United States dating back to 2017.


“Heat Culture isn’t just about winning.

It’s about how you win.

It’s crawling to the finish line if you have to. It’s leaving NOTHING in the tank. It’s being in the best fucking shape of your LIFE. It’s always wanting more: out of yourself, out of your teammates, even out of the game. It’s being that type of guy where they might talk bad about you in the media — about your attitude or your ego or whatever it may be — but Pat knows you’re going to give him that BULLY on the court.”

Gary Payton

So there are a series of values that this team does exude that relate to the majority of the population that at one point were unable to see their team play because of how unaffordable the tickets were during certain stages of the franchise’s history.

From a local perspective, Heat fans cringe and sigh in frustration when they hear the two constantly be intertwined in a narrative that dates back to the Big Three era.

This could be an interesting storyline to keep in the collective files, especially when both teams face off in the month of March.

READ MORE: New Book Talks About Pat Riley’s Arrival To The Miami Heat

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