Jimmy Butler’s role in forcing a crucial turnover helped clinch Tuesday night’s win over the New York Knicks, with the veteran suggesting that he was simply modeling himself after actor Mark Wahlberg.
Butler and the Knicks’ Julius Randle were battling for the ball with less than 10 seconds left in the game and the Heat holding a slim one-point advantage.
Randle bowled over Butler, who made an effort to appear look as if he’d been injured but was captured on camera looking to see if a foul had been called on Randle.
“I’ve studied Mark Wahlberg and how he acts so incredibly well,” Butler said with a smile. “I’ve taken a few pointers.”
Butler was asked about the act to appear injured and made a point to mention that it was done in the spirit of keeping his teammates loose.
“For my guys, they gotta to know that everything’s going to be OK,” Butler said when asked about his theatrical moment. “Like it’s OK to have fun, it’s OK to joke around because that’s what we’re out here playing for. Yeah, we want to win, but never forget to have fun. Smile and enjoy the situation that you’re in.”
The choice of Wahlberg was due in part to the fact that the two are actually friends, something that Butler expounded upon by noting that his intense workouts are influenced by Wahlberg.
“I saw Mark Wahlberg do it and I give him a lot of credit because that [guy] has everything,” Butler said during an appearance on “The JJ Redick Podcast” last year. “… He’s one of the realest human beings that I’ve ever been around. He works every single day like that …. like he has nothing and it’s inspiring. So when I saw that for the first time, I was like: ‘Look man, if this man is doing it and he got everything and I don’t got [expletive]. There has gotta be something to it.’ Now that I do it, it’s habit and I got the rest of my day to do whatever I want.”
Since Butler has returned to the lineup, the Heat have won four of their last six games and will go for their fourth straight win on Thursday night against the Houston Rockets.