A journalist recently tried to approach Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler for a comment about the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“I’m not making any statements here,” Butler said after first thinking the request was for a photo.
The star wing then proclaimed that he isn’t all too invested in the FIBA World Cup.
“I don’t care about the World Cup,” Butler said before he and the journalist split ways.
Butler, 33, was selected with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and has played for four teams — the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers and Heat — across his 12 seasons in the NBA.
The 6-foot-7 wing averaged 22.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 64 appearances with the Heat during the 2022-23 regular season (all starts). Butler also shot the ball efficiently from the field, as he converted 53.9 percent of his field-goal attempts and 35.0 percent of his three-point attempts.
Those numbers were good enough for Butler to earn a spot on the All-NBA Second Team. Interestingly, though, Butler didn’t earn an All-Star nod.
Butler carried over his excellent play from the 2022-23 regular season into the 2023 postseason. His postseason numbers rose across the board compared to the regular season, as he averaged 26.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game in 22 playoff games with the Heat.
Butler’s best series of the 2023 playoffs came in the first round against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, who ended the regular season with the league’s top record. The wing averaged an otherworldly 37.6 points per game on 59.7 percent shooting from the field for the series, and the Heat went on to eliminate the Bucks in five games.
Admittedly, Butler struggled in the championship series against Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets, however. He averaged just 21.6 points per game (his lowest scoring average in any series during Miami’s postseason run by a wide margin) and shot 41.3 percent from the field. He wasn’t even the Heat’s best player in the NBA Finals, as that title belonged to star big man Bam Adebayo.
Here’s to hoping that Butler will be able to lead the Heat back to the NBA Finals in 2024.