Erik Spoelstra jokes that Jimmy Butler is a ‘total a—hole’
Jimmy Butler arrived in South Beach with significant baggage, not to mention a reputation of being a malcontent, when he signed with the Miami Heat this past offseason.
The notion that the occasionally mercurial superstar would be a disruptive presence on the Heat was shut down this week when head coach Erik Spoelstra jokingly dropped some colorful language about Butler.
When asked about how Butler’s first few months with the Heat has gone, Spoelstra sarcastically said Wednesday, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN, “He’s been a total a–hole. I can’t stand him.”
Butler of course is plagued by a checkered past when it comes to the perception that he can be a cancer in the locker room when things aren’t going well. That was the case during his stints with the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and last season with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Things thus far have been outstanding in Miami for Butler. Averaging 21.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game, Butler has led the Heat to a 19-8 record, fourth-best in the Eastern Conference.
Not only that, Butler seems to have reenergized the Heat and the team’s fan base with his tenacious style on the court and occasionally outrageous personality.
Interestingly enough, Spoelstra’s word choice when jokingly characterizing Butler is the same one the star used ahead of this season when pushing back against the narrative that he can be a jerk.
It also merits noting that Butler shared his interesting take on Spoelstra just last week.
“You talk about a guy who looks really, really calm, but he’ll cuss you out in a heartbeat,” Butler said of Spoelstra, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
It’s clear that the relationship between Butler and Spoelstra is a solid one at this point. However, it remains to be seen whether Butler will revert to his old ways if and when the Heat hit a rough patch.