Miami Heat Star Has Strong Reaction to Brittney Griner Release From Prison

Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler

Getty Bam Adebayo #13 and Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat talk during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics

For those who may be tardy to the party, WNBA star Brittney Griner was released from Russian Prison in a prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout on December 8. She was detained for nearly 300 days. The Phoenix Mercury star’s incarceration resulted in both WNBA and NBA stars imploring the United States government to do whatever they needed to bring her home safe and sound. Upon her release, Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo reacted to her return to the United States.

“I’m so happy for [Brittney Griner]. I’m happy BG is coming home, man,” Adebayo said to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

“Just from knowing her from the Olympics, she’s such a sweet girl. She doesn’t bother anybody, minds her own business, and stays in her own lane. I’m really happy that she gets to come back and see her family and just be back in her own bed. I feel like it’s going to be hard for her to get readjusted to the world.

Because obviously, none of us have no idea what she was going through. When she gets back over and hopefully, she tells her story one day, I feel like that would be a great story for people to hear.”

Griner’s Release Was a Long Process

Griner was in Russia, playing overseas pro basketball during last year’s WNBA off-season. She was detained in Russia last February on drug trafficking charges after a cartridge containing hashish oil was found in her luggage when trying to return to the United States. Upon court proceedings, she was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on August 4.

After her sentencing, negotiations between the United States and Russia began for her release. The process of negotiations was far from cut and dry. They lasted more than four months as it was not an easy choice to release the Russian arms dealer who is notoriously known as the “Merchant of Death”. But finally, on December 8, United States President Joe Biden succumbed to Russia’s terms and secured Griner’s release.

“In recent days, we were able to reach an agreement on an option to secure Brittany’s release. And the president, President Biden, made the difficult decision to accept that option because it resulted in a safe return home of an American,” one White House official told reporters via ABC News.

“Through multiple, multiple engagements, the Russians made clear that the only route to securing Britney’s return was a release of a Russian national, Viktor Bout.”

Hall of Famer Issues Bold Challenge to Heat Front Office

After their win over the Los Angeles Clippers in their last game, the Heat now have a record of 12-14 and sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. It is not where most people expected them to be after 26 games. Especially when they were just one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals last season. Teams go through slumps and slow starts all the time, but the season is quickly approaching the midway point and the Heat are running out of time to turn things around.

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley believes it is time for Heat President Pat Riley and the front office to blow up the team.

“It might be time to break the team up and start over,” Barkley said on Inside the NBA via Sports Illustrated.

“They got some contracts that’s like … they’re no good. So, they need to start over. That’s my personal opinion, it’s like, hey, trade some of these guys to contenders or teams that [can] get us some young guys and start over.”

The Heat may be at their low point now, but they can still right the ship. Just last month, the Brooklyn Nets had an identical record to the Heat, and they now sit in 4th place in the conference, proof that it can be done.

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