Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler has become infamous for talking trash and pushing his teammates to the limit.
Last season, he reportedly got into it with former Heat forward Jae Crowder, and things nearly got out of hand.
“Crowder was maybe the only player on Miami’s roster with the courage, bravado, and shared history — from their year together at Marquette — to confront Jimmy Butler when he felt it necessary,” wrote ESPN’s Zach Lowe. “A prolonged series of one-on-one games between them was perhaps Miami’s secret defining moment of last season’s bubble run.
“The two had started trash-talking during five-on-five action in practice toward the end of the seeding games. It got heated, and they cleared the court to settle it with a series of one-on-one games that lasted somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour. The player with the ball had to start either on the wing or at the top of the key, and could take only a certain number of dribbles before shooting.
“The trash talk became so profane, and so personal, it was borderline uncomfortable, team sources said. Almost the entire Heat contingent stayed to watch. ‘I’ve been busting your a– since school!’ Butler taunted, according to Crowder. (It got much worse than that.) Everyone loved it — and appreciated Crowder for bringing an edge to practices. (Butler won the final game.)”
Some organizations might balk at these kinds of interactions between teammates. However, the Heat understand that can be beneficial for the team’s chemistry and resilience.
Miami went to the NBA Finals last year with both Butler and Crowder playing huge roles. Unfortunately, the Heat were not able to overcome the Los Angeles Lakers’ star power and lost in six games.
As for Crowder, he’s three wins away from earning a title with his current team, the Phoenix Suns.