Jimmy Butler has clashed with figures of authority at times during his NBA career, but not while he’s been on the Miami Heat.
Ever since joining the organization last summer, the five-time All-Star has done nothing but shower Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and team president Pat Riley with admiration.
His latest message was directed at Riley, who recently entered the NBA’s bubble in Orlando, Fla. to watch his team compete for an NBA title.
“That’s the Godfather, man, that’s the OG,” Butler said as the Heat prepare for Friday’s game versus the Milwaukee Bucks. “A huge reason why I’m here, obviously.
“I’ve said time and time again, you want to be here and that’s the best feeling to know you’re wanted in an organization, and they want you as a player. They want what you can bring to the table.”
Butler went on to say that the trust Riley has in him has helped him serve as a veteran leader for a roster that is outperforming all expectations at the moment.
“He has so much trust and belief in my abilities,” Butler said of the Heat president. “And it just trickles down the line. I’m thankful for him, Spo, all these knuckleheads I get to hoop with. It’s a blessing being here in Miami.”
If the Heat were to win Friday’s game against the Bucks, they would take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
They’d also be just one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.
While Riley clearly had plans to build a championship team around Butler when he acquired the star forward, chances are good that he did not expect things to come together so quickly.