Heat Star Jimmy Butler Credits A-List Celebrity for ‘Few Pointers’

Jimmy Butler

Getty Miami Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler has been working on his acting chops with some Hollywood friends.

The Miami Heat beat the New York Knicks 98-96 to earn their third straight victory. The reigning Eastern Conference champions are finally living up to expectations as the team continues to get players back healthy. Snooze.

It was what Jimmy Butler did — or didn’t do, depending on your vantage point — that had everyone talking on Tuesday night. The All-Star forward lay on the court grimacing in pain with 4.8 seconds left in the game after a hard foul from Julius Randle.

The cameras caught Butler covering his face with his hands before slightly smirking and winking at teammate Tyler Herro. The officials reviewed the loose-ball infraction for a flagrant foul but deemed it a common foul. Butler confidently walked to the foul line and hit one of his two free throws. Final score: 98-96.

After the game, Butler joked about being “concussed” in comments to HEATV’s Jason Jackson, although he kept a straight face throughout the interview. Later, Butler told reporters that he had learned how to act from Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg who he leans on for workouts and wine tips. The two first met in 2013 on a movie set and remain close friends.

“I’ve studied Mark Wahlberg and how he acts so incredibly well and I’ve taken a few pointers,” Butler told reporters after the game. “But from my guys, they gotta know that everything is going to be OK like it’s OK to have fun, it’s OK to joke around because that’s what we are out here playing for. Yeah, we want to win but never forget to have fun, smile, and enjoy the situation that you’re in.”

Meanwhile, All-Star center Bam Adebayo couldn’t stop chuckling through his protective face mask in the post-game Zoom call. Butler had the whole team rolling with his Oscar-worthy performance.

“Everybody knew it, that’s why we were all laughing because we knew,” Adebayo said of Butler’s acting job. “First of all, if Jimmy was really injured he’s not peeking … if Jimmy is really injured, everybody knows he’s trying to get up and walk it off. So the fact he was down there so long, just Jimmy being Jimmy.”

Butler finished with a game-high 26 points and 10 assists in 36 minutes. Forward Kelly Olynyk had 20 points, with Adebayo adding 19 points.

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‘Throwback Miami Heat-New York Knicks Game’

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra called Tuesday night’s game a “throwback” to the old New York Knicks-Miami Heat rivalry games of the late 1990s. The two Eastern Conference powerhouses met four straight years in the playoffs before renewing the rivalry in 2012.

This one came down to the wire and remained a one-possession game for virtually the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter. Back and forth. On the see-saw.

“This was more of a throwback Miami Heat-New York Knicks game from the 90s when there weren’t a lot of open shots in the last 14, 16 minutes of the game,” Spoelstra told reporters. “You were just going to have to grind out a win and, in many ways, do it when you’re not scoring. So free throws were gold in this game.”

Butler credited New York’s defensive effort, a hallmark of a squad coached by Tom Thibodeau. The Knicks head coach was Butler’s former coach on the Chicago Bulls where he played alongside Derrick Rose. New York put the finishing touches on a trade for Rose earlier this week and the 2011 NBA MVP scored 14 points in 20 minutes off the bench.

“That’s Thibs, you know, their team never gives up,” Butler said. “They play so hard, they play together and they got some guys — obviously, brought in D-Rose who was a killer tonight as he always is and they’re going to be really good for a long time.”

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