There are no more excuses to give as to why the Miami Heat are sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference after coming within two games of winning the NBA Finals last season. After Miami blew a 19-point lead against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, losing 120-112 in overtime, Heat nation let emotions get the best of them.
Twitter filled with comments on how the Heat’s season is already a wash and to focus on rebuilding next year. However, despite Miami’s 11-17 record, they are still only three seeds out of playoff contention. The Eastern Conference as a whole appears to be in a slump.
Another assumption being tossed out was that five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler was ready to jump ship, that at 31, he’s worried about wasting his prime years with a sinking franchise. On February 18, Five Reasons Sports Network’s Ethan J. Skolnick addressed these “stupid” rumors straight on.
The Miami sports insider tweeted, “You’re all more worried about Jimmy Butler’s ‘clock’ than he is. Look at his career minutes compared to players his age. Not as high as you think. And he’s in great shape. When the right deal is there, the organization will try to make it. And yes he will be kept in mind.”
While it’s understandable as to why Heat fans are having extreme emotional reactions to Miami’s disastrous season thus far, Skolnick asked everyone to remember the days of another Heat legend. He tweeted, “The Heat ‘failed’ Dwyane in his prime from 2008 to 2010, but ultimately did not. I’m not on board with everything the Heat do, but a little more faith in is order.”
When Butler first came to Miami, it was the shooting guard’s third team in two seasons, which could be why there’s a feeling of unease seeping through Heat nation. However, none of his moves were unexpected. Butler made his intentions clear when he wanted a trade out of Minnesota and was an “expected move” when he declined his $19.8 million player option with the Sixers.
Butler Said He Has Only 1 Goal: To Win Championship Title With the Heat
Before the 2020-2021 NBA Season even started, Butler announced that he was “not content.” But unlike James Harden, who made it clear from the jump that he wanted a trade, Butler was “not content” was because making it to the NBA Finals was not enough. He wants more than a participation trophy for the Heat.
“I haven’t won anything worth saying I’ve won,” he revealed to the media on December 15. “I think I have a long way to go. My team has a long way to go. So whenever I win it, then you can ask me that question next year.”
Butler, who’s now in his 10th NBA season, said he has just one goal for himself and his Heat teammates: “To win. That’s it, to win.” A few months later, nothing has changed. As Five Reasons Sports Network tweeted on February 18, “His priority is to win a title in Miami.”
Not Even COVID-19 Kept Butler From Playing Like an All-Star
For those worrying about Butler soon being past his prime, not even coronavirus could make a dent in his talent. After missing 10 games, Butler returned to the court and swiftly ended the Heat’s losing streak. On January 30, he showed no signs of rust after not playing since January 9 and helped Miami eke out a win against the Sacramento Kings 105-104.
Butler didn’t need any time warming back up on the court. He went off in the first half, scoring 20 points on 6-of-13 from the field and 8-of-8 from the foul line — a performance that catapulted Butler into reaching a new milestone in his NBA career — scoring 10,000 points.
In the third quarter, Butler recorded his fourth rebound, which brought his career rebound record to 3,000.