The Miami Heat were the dark horses in the 2020 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. But little did the Lakers know that Miami’s secret weapon was Jimmy Butler — the brash, outspoken talent that has left a wave of confusion in his tracks.
With the Heat plagued by injuries, Butler carried the team on his back, turning in one brilliant performance after another. After the season, with point guard Goran Dragic an unrestricted free agent, Butler took it upon himself to get Dragic to sign back with the Heat, a move Dragic himself credits to Butler’s persistence.
Jimmy Butler’s gutsy NBA Finals performance
Butler wanted to win the NBA Championship, so much so that at times, he took matters into his own hands. In addition to guarding LeBron James, one of the best players on the court, Butler recorded two triple-doubles in the series.
Even though the Heat lost, Butler’s performance turned heads and made him more determined than ever to get back to the big dance next year.
With injuries to Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo, Butler knew he had to step up his performance for the Heat to be competitive. And he did just that. At the end of Game 3, Butler amassed 40 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds. He didn’t stop there.
He finished Game 5 with 35 points, 11 assists, and 12 rebounds. Butler is just the second player behind LeBron James to record more than one 30 point triple-double in the NBA Finals.
Keeping Goran Dragic in Miami
Goran Dragic was one of the reasons the Heat made it to the finals at all, but in Game 1 he suffered a torn plantar fascia in his left foot that kept him sidelined the next four games.
He played a bit in Game 6 and finished with five points, but it was a disappointing end to his season. With Dragic an unrestricted free agent, his options were open, but Butler had other plans.
Dragic claims that Butler constantly harassed him after the season was over. He would FaceTime him regularly, telling SportsIllustrated, “He said, ‘You better sign with the Heat. If not, I know where you live. I’m going to hunt you down. And I’m going to beat you up.'”
His badgering paid off when Dragic signed a two year, $37.4 million deal, returning him to the Heat.
Now, with Dragic back in the picture and fellow teammate Bam Adebayo returning to health, Butler is confident at another NBA Finals run.
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are hoping to win big
With the core team back in place, the Heat are looking to get back to the finals, as long as they stay healthy. They’re relying on their 3-point game and the play from Adebayo, who came off a career-high season, to go the distance again. Don’t forget about Butler — he’s their firecracker, the player that will rile the team up and give everything he has to win a game.
Of course, if Butler’s basketball career doesn’t work out, you might catch him opening a café and working as a barista. He practices latte art and roasts and grinds his own beans.
He was so serious about his coffee endeavor that during his time in the Orlando bubble, he created Big Face Coffee, including an expansive menu that charged $20 a cup, no matter the size.
With initiative like that and the persuasive ways about him, it’s no wonder Dragic resigned with the Heat. It’s just one more piece in Jimmy Butler’s puzzle.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference