After Miami broke their losing streak with a win against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, Bam Adebayo, who scored an amazing buzzer-beater to put the Heat on top 109-107, addressed the controversial comments Jimmy Butler said about him and the team to the media a few days earlier.
Butler 31, was overcome with frustration with both himself and his teammates following the Heat’s loss 119-111 to Minnesota, the team with the worst record in the NBA.
“We don’t deserve to win,” Butler said. “Whenever we take these teams lightly, we don’t do what we’re supposed to do on the defensive end, we just look bad, as a whole, as a group, as a unit. It’s not good basketball.”
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The five-time All-Star also directly addressed Adebayo, who only took eight shot attempts against the Timberwolves. Butler wants him to attack the rim more because “nobody can stay in front of him.”
“I love him shooting mid-range jump shots too,” Butler continued, “but he lets people off the hook. Play bully ball. I like bully ball.”
While Butler sat out Sunday’s game with an ankle sprain, Adebayo’s game-winning shot proved that he took his teammate’s message as tough love — a lesson learned.
“I talked to Jimmy, he does want me to be more aggressive,” Adebayo said. “I just got to find that balance when me and him are on the court together because you know me, I like to pass. I just be trying to get him involved so much that I forget about me and mine. So he’s been harping on me about that. So that’s the narrative.”
Adebayo Reiterated the Fact that Butler Said ‘We’ & Us’ During His Frustrated Rant
Adebayo, who scored 21 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists during Sunday’s win, knows that Butler called him out because he’s a champion of his talent. Butler wasn’t trashing the team so much as calling out everyone, including himself, to step it up.
“Can you all switch that narrative, ‘Jimmy called out the team’?” If you listen to the interview, he said, ‘we,’ so can you switch the narrative Jimmy says ‘the team,’ as in ‘we’, as in all of us, not just he’s saying it and it’s the team’s fault?”
“You never know how people feel about it,” Adebayo continued. “So that’s all I’m saying. Switch the narrative to where it makes sense, and not chop off a little piece and make that the title. Like I get it’s your job, but that’s how locker-room arguments starts. Jimmy basically was saying we all weren’t playing well, not just the other people, you know what I mean?”
Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra also spoke of Adebayo’s lack of offense but said the issue is deeper than just his attack. “It’s not about scoring, that’s the hard thing in the league,” Spoelstra said. “Bam has so many things that are important for him to do for us to be successful. Scoring is just one of them.”
“Facilitating, screening, defending, communicating our defense, finishing off our defense — all of these things,” Spoelstra continued. “I think he was in a great flow… and then the foul trouble really sidelined him earlier than we all would have liked and those were tough calls too.”