Jimmy Butler is closing in on his first full month of playing for the Miami Heat.
In that short amount of time, he’s already gotten to know the passionate Heat fan base. In a recent interview with Michael Lee of The Athletic, Butler raved about the support he’s felt from the fans.
He also expressed a desire to try to earn the same level of love that close friend and Heat legend Dwyane Wade enjoys from Heat Nation.
“These fans are loyal to the soil,” Butler said. “Especially for D-Wade. Once you put on that uniform and you’ve battled for this city, they embrace you forever. The love that he got, that he damn well deserved, it was, that could be me one day. I don’t ever compare myself to that guy. I just love him as a human being. Hell of a basketball player. We all know. But he’s always looking out for me and trying to help me, that he made it easy. Man, if this organization, this city, helped D-Wade, in any way, I know it can help me, tenfold.”
Butler has brought everything Heat fans had hoped for and more so far this season. He’s averaging 18.7 points, 7.0 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game. Beyond that, he’s already had an incredible impact on many of the team’s young players who seem to be gravitating towards him.
Already, youngsters Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro are all having breakout years. There’s no question that Butler’s leadership is partly to thank.
Heading into the season, no one seriously considered the Heat to be title contenders. Now, at 10-3, it would be hard not to include them amongst the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference.
There’s still a lot of season to be played. If Butler and the Heat keep this up, he’ll likely quickly find himself amongst the franchise’s most beloved players.