Heat’s Jimmy Butler Makes Definitive Statement on His Future

Jimmy Butler

Getty Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat fields questions during Media Day before Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets.

Jimmy Butler has spent his last four seasons with the Miami Heat and based on his comments heading into Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals, he plans on spending the rest of his career playing in South Beach.

In a May 31 interview with ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Butler, 33, discussed a number of things, including his the trajectory of his career and his belief that his current group of teammates can slay one more dragon in the form of Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.

A standout at Marquette University, Butler was a first round selection in the draft for the Chicago Bulls in 2011. When Andrews reminded Butler of a comment he made years ago when he played in the Windy City — that the last thing he would ever want to wear was a Heat jersey — Butler smiled and, noting the irony, said his Heat jersey will be the last one he’ll ever wear.

Butler Spent His First 6 Seasons With Bulls

He was a three-time All-Star over his six seasons in Chicago, but back in June of 2017, the Bulls shipped Butler and a draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and draft capital. Butler played in Minnesota for a year before getting traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he spent the bulk of the 2018-19 season. He landed in Miami the year after that and the rest is history.

Butler noted that when he was with the Bulls, the Heat were one of the league’s most dominant teams led by the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Wade, another Marquette alum, became Butler’s teammate when he played with the Bulls for the 2016-17 season and Butler talked about how things have changed since that time.

“When I came into the league, the Heat used to beat the Bulls all the time. They did, when they had the Big 3,” Butler told Andrews. “So me getting drafted (by) the Bulls, it was like: ‘We can’t like the Miami Heat. You can’t like D-Wade even though y’all went to the same school. Then, you fast forward and I’m playing with D-Wade on the Bulls. I’m like: ‘This guy’s not a bad guy.’ … Full circle, now it’ll be the last jersey that I wear.”

Butler on His Heat Teammates: ‘This Group Is Special’

Butler averaged 24.7 points, 6.1 assists and 7.6 rebounds in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. He was named the ECF’s MVP, but Butler told Andrews that personal accolades aren’t what he’s after. He wants the ring that has eluded him over his 12 years in the NBA.

“All I want is championships,” he said, also noting he has faith in the group of relatively unheralded players around him.

“I’m confident in myself as a basketball player and in the group of guys that I have around me,” Butler added. “This group is special. They really are. They really believe that: ‘I have to be the best version of myself, we have to be the best version of ourselves today and then once that day is over with, we’ll take it a day at a time.'”

You can watch Butler’s complete interview with Andrews below.