The Miami Heat’s acquisition of Jimmy Butler was a lengthy process that required negotiating with two different teams before it became a reality.
With Butler poised to begin his first year with the Heat, retired guard Dwyane Wade pointed out why Butler wanted to join Miami over the other options.
Wade spoke with Brandon Robinson of Heavy.com, and made clear that the Heat organization’s culture was something that didn’t escape Butler’s notice.
“Jimmy, he really wanted to be in Miami,” Wade told Robinson.
“He wanted to be apart of the culture that Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra, myself and Udonis [Haslem] have held up and created.”
That culture was something that led to three NBA titles and a pair of Eastern Conference championships since Wade and Haslem arrived on the scene in 2003.
Wade called it a career back in April, which means that he won’t get to play with his good friend and fellow Marquette University product. However, he’s confident about Butler’s ability to take over the leadership role that Wade held during his years with the Heat.
“I think it’s going to fare well with him,” Wade said.
“And I think the guys on the team will be energized to have a guy like Jimmy there to push them. So, I look forward to them having a way better season obviously than we did the last seasons here in Miami.”
The dry spell that Wade noted began in 2014 after the Heat’s fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. They’ve only made the postseason twice since then and haven’t gotten past the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Wade left in free agency following the 2015-16 campaign, playing the next season for the Chicago Bulls alongside Butler. Wade eventually found his way back to Miami in February 2018 and retired with great fanfare 14 months later.
The confidence shown by Wade is something that all Heat fans have been hoping for since the team traded for Butler. Next month, the 2019-20 season will get underway, with the Heat’s new acquisition looking to follow in the footsteps of a legend.