Jimmy Butler prepared to go ‘right through’ LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler reacted to the news of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s new supermax contract by displaying his eagerness of potentially facing both Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James in the playoffs this season.

“I like it,” said Butler. “I don’t think you can go around him. I don’t think you can go around LeBron either. You have to go right through them. You have to beat them. You also have to beat the Sixers (Philadelphia 76ers), Boston, Toronto. There’s a lot of squads in the East with some really good players. Doesn’t intimidate me none. I actually get excited for it. I want to go up against the best, my guys want to go up against the best. That’s our way to show we belong. That’s how we get our respect.”

During the 2020 postseason, Butler and the Heat upset the top-seeded Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but came up short in the NBA Finals against the Lakers.

Butler put up a historic effort to push the Lakers to six games in the finals, as he averaged 26.2 points, 9.8 assists and 8.3 rebounds per game.

The Heat had been rumored to be targeting Antetokoumpo for next season’s big free-agency class, but now that the superstar has a five-year deal locked up with the Bucks, they are likely standing pat with the core members of their current roster.

“Can’t wait for the Heat vs. Bucks matchup,” Butler added.

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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.