Jimmy Butler Says Miami Heat Not Displaying ‘Culture We Pride Ourselves On’

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The sting of dropping two of the last three games has Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler speaking out about what he believes is his teammates’ complacency following a strong start to the season.

Butler, who was acquired during the offseason, has been a key aspect of what’s been an improved Heat squad.

However, it’s clear that the team’s recent struggles and inconsistency have gotten under his skin.

“We play defense one day in practice, one day in a game, and we’ll be just like, ‘F-it, we’re good,'” the Heat’s prized $142-million acquisition said. “Like, nah, that’s not how it is. You’ve got to continue to stack on good days. That’s what all the really good teams do, that’s what the teams that are at the top of the East and at the top of West, that’s what they do.

“It’s not, ‘OK, we’re going to have three good days and we’re OK, we’ll have one bad day.’ We will have as many good days as we can in a row, and I think that’s what we need to get to.”

The Heat have gotten solid contributions from younger players like Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson, but Butler indicated that his teammates need to be willing to confront players who veer off course.

“I think we need to do a job of holding each other accountable, a better job of holding, in the sense that if somebody’s not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, you say it,” he said. “And we want them to know, ‘That’s not how we’re going to win. This isn’t winning basketball. This isn’t the culture we pride ourselves on, that we preach every single day.’

“And then take it, and swallow that pill, and know that we’re saying it because we care, we’re saying it because we know that this individual, that this unit can do better.”

The Heat have a 25-10 record entering their Sunday night home stand against the Portland Trail Blazers. Yet, despite having the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, Butler clearly isn’t satisfied with the status quo.

While some teams might flinch when a player offers such criticism toward teammates, Butler’s fiery challenge is clearly what the Heat were expecting when they made the deal to bring him to Miami.

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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.