Report: Jimmy Butler’s Opinion of Erik Spoelstra ‘Most Positive’ of Any Miami Heat Star

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Miami Heat veteran Jimmy Butler’s first season has thus far been a success, with his ability to connect with Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra apparently being one of the key reasons.

In fact, according to a recent report, Butler has the highest opinion of Spoelstra compared to those of all of the stars he’s coached during his tenure with the team.

Butler has been a focal point of the Heat’s resurgence this year, which has seen them compile a 29-12 at the midway point of the season.

Since taking over as head coach in 2008, Spoelstra has had to deal with a number of superstar players, including Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Those three players helped Spoelstra lead the team to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and two league titles.

However, the early days of dealing with that trio resulted in some struggles between the team and Spoelstra. Those conflicts were eventually worked out, though there were no doubt some bruised egos along the way.

Thus far, Butler has thrived under Spoelstra’s leadership, which helps explain his enthusiasm regarding his coach.

The 30-year-old Butler is leading the Heat in scoring (20.3), assists (6.4) and steals (1.9) per game and is second on the team in rebounding, averaging 7.0 boards per contest. Those are the numbers that Spoelstra was likely expecting when the team acquired Butler this past offseason.

Butler’s reputation for abrasive leadership hasn’t been a problem during the first half of the 2019-20 season, with Spoelstra seemingly having no issues with the veteran calling out teammates for poor play.

The leadership of both Butler and Spoelstra will continue to be important during the second half of this season and into the playoffs.

In the immediate future, the duo will focus on Sunday’s road game in San Antonio.

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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.