Meyers Leonard passionately explains why Jimmy Butler is ‘literally the definition of a max player’

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In a recent radio interview, Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard offered effusive praise for teammate Jimmy Butler, paying tribute to the veteran’s leadership qualities.

Leonard appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio and raved about Butler, delivering the ultimate compliment about his leadership and skill.

“Jimmy is very much, ‘Okay, let the game come to me, when I can pick my moments to be aggressive. I wanna get the young guys feeling good,'” Leonard said. “He just loves getting others involved. It’s so interesting because folks in the media, I’ve said it, this guy is literally the definition of a max player. He’s everything you want.

“He’s disciplined. He’s a very, very, very good teammate, which for whatever ridiculous reason, people didn’t seem to think that when he was a part of other organizations.

“He puts in the work. He plays on both sides of the ball. That’s the thing, this guy never runs out of energy. I am shocked at the level at which he’s able to impact the game.”

Butler was acquired by the Heat last year. At the time, he was joining his fourth different NBA team in as many seasons, which fueled the image of him as a problem player.

However, Butler quickly showed why the Heat wanted him as he helped the team not only get back to the postseason but also reach the NBA Finals before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

In those finals, Butler was the central factor in helping the Heat win their two games, collecting triple-doubles in each win.

In Game 3, he had 40 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. He then helped the Heat temporarily avoid elimination in Game 5, with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

While Leonard is offering such tributes to Butler, it remains uncertain if the two players will remain teammates for next season, since Leonard will be free to sign elsewhere as a free agent once free agency begins.

However, it’s clear that if Leonard does return to the Heat, Butler will be one of the reasons for his decision.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, 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.