Jimmy Butler Admits He ‘Didn’t Know Who the F— Was in Charge’ During Time With Philadelphia 76ers

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Miami Heat veteran Jimmy Butler only spent one season with the Philadelphia 76ers, but that brief period now has him reflecting on the absence of leadership he witnessed there.

Butler appeared on the podcast of former 76ers teammate J.J. Redick and bluntly spoke about the difficulty of playing with such uncertainty.

“Hell yeah, it was difficult,” Butler said. “It was so different. And on any given day, me as a person, as a player, I didn’t know who the f— was in charge. I think that was my biggest thing. I didn’t know what the f— to expect whenever I would go into the gym, whenever I’d go into the plane, whenever I’d go into the game. I was like, ‘Man, I think I was as lost as the next motherf—–.”

Despite that issue, Butler was able to lead the Sixers to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they lost in seven games to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors.

Yet, Butler also took issue with the 76ers’ decision to have him become the main ball-handler during the postseason, replacing point guard Ben Simmons.

“To this day, I don’t think that that was fair, to switch over like that,” Butler said. “Even though I think we played great basketball like that, I don’t think it was fair, because the entire year, Ben had the ball. The entire year, Ben had the ball. You mean to tell me that in one playoff series you just switch it up like that?”

Just prior to becoming a free agent last June, Butler was dealt to the Heat and has been one of the central components to the team’s success this season.

The Heat currently have a 41-23 record, fourth-best in the Eastern Conference, and are three games ahead of the 76ers.

That success has essentially eliminated any concern that Butler’s prickly personality would serve as a detriment to the team, a perception in his three previous NBA stops.

Instead, the Heat are hoping that his smooth transition into the organization will lead to a deep playoff run.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.