After Jimmy Butler was recently seen working out at 3:30 a.m., a whole six and a half hours before the Miami Heat’s first practice, his teammates let it be known that his example has not gone unnoticed.
Those who followed in Butler’s footsteps on Thursday morning were Meyers Leonard and Bam Adebayo. Both players were in the gym at 3:30 a.m.
For clarity, this has nothing to do with me. This has everything to do with a work ethic that I respect from our leader and I’m here for the challenge. Also S/O to Bam, he was there too.
— Meyers Leonard (@MeyersLeonard) October 3, 2019
Butler has started a trend amongst his Heat teammates and his leadership style of leading by example has paid off so far.
As a first-year player for the Heat, Leonard is showing that he’s preparing his body for the upcoming 2019-20 regular season by hitting the gym before everyone else. The fact that Adebayo was also early for practice shows how dedicated the Heat players are to working on their games.
Leonard impressed the Heat enough to trade for him in July. Despite modest averages of 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last season for the Portland Trail Blazers, the seven-year veteran shot a remarkable 45.0 percent from 3-point territory.
In the fourth and last game of the 2019 Western Conference Finals versus the Golden State Warriors, Leonard exploded for a career-high 30 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Despite losing that game, Leonard should be heading into the regular season with a lot of confidence.
In Adebayo’s case, the Heat big man hopes to continue his development from last season and take over the starting center position permanently. With Hassan Whiteside now gone, head coach Erik Spoelstra expects great things from Adebayo, whom the Heat reportedly refused to give up in trade negotiations this summer.