While Miami Heat small forward Jimmy Butler has yet to play an NBA game with his new squad, teammates are already starting to follow the alpha.
According to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, early indications have pointed to teammates already beginning to warm up to the new sheriff in town.
“The early impressions are that teammates have gravitated toward Jimmy and his ways,” he wrote. “But the NBA also is a marathon season, where pushing too much can marginalize, instead of maximize, such emotion. It will be interesting to see if [Erik] Spoelstra attempts to temper, or whether tempest proves tolerable.”
Butler, 30, joined the Heat this past summer after an emotional 2018-19 campaign. The forward started last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, after a dramatic fallout with coaches and players on the Wolves, Butler got traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
While his stint in Philadelphia was short, Butler made strides with the Sixers before getting ousted by the Toronto Raptors in a hard-fought playoff series last season. Although the veteran wasn’t able to overcome the eventual 2019 champions, he put up a great with fight 22.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game in the second round.
There’s no doubt Butler brings a competitive, hard-nosed edge wherever he goes. During his eight-year career in the NBA, the journeyman has averaged 16.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game.