Miami Heat star wing Jimmy Butler’s agent, Bernie Lee, spoke on how NBA media is changing the way players see themselves and took a jab at Shams Charania in the process.
“In 2021, Bernie Lee, the agent who first met Charania when he was in high school, got a notification on his phone that Charania had reported on tension between one of Lee’s clients, Jimmy Butler, and his team, the Miami Heat,” Reeves Wiedeman wrote. “Lee thought the report, which centered on Butler being demanding, was misleading — ‘Jimmy’s hard on people? No s—!’ — and took to Twitter himself to respond. ‘Shut the f— up you click bait, ambulance chasing, dirt bag piece of s—,’ Lee wrote of Charania. ‘No one has told you this because this is not reality. Go find someone’s assistant to text abt an MRI or some other human calamity you want to be 1st on.’ Lee told me he objected partly to the story itself but also to the media environment in general. ‘Players are experiencing the world through their phones and consuming this like everybody else, and because these guys are consuming nothing but garbage about themselves, I’m seeing guys be unable to have an accurate sense of themselves,’ Lee said. ‘It’s not solely Shams’s fault. He just happens to be a ringleader of a really s—– circus.'”
Butler is fresh off leading the Heat to the 2023 NBA Finals. He averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game against the Denver Nuggets in the championship series, but the Nuggets went on to eliminate the Heat in five games.
The 6-foot-7 wing has played four seasons as a member of the Heat franchise and averaged 22.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game across 64 games played with Miami during the 2022-23 regular season. Butler also converted a career-high 53.9 percent of his field-goal attempts.
Last season wasn’t Butler’s first time guiding the Heat to an NBA Finals appearance. Miami also reached the 2020 NBA Finals, where it faced off against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the storied Los Angeles Lakers franchise.
Butler performed far better in the 2020 NBA Finals than he did in the 2023 NBA Finals. He averaged 26.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game against the Lakers, but it wasn’t enough for the Heat to win the title. Los Angeles defeated the Heat in six games to win the championship.
Back in July of 2019, the Heat acquired Butler via a four-team sign-and-trade that involved the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. He joined the Heat on a four-year, $142 million deal.
Butler’s agent made a solid point when he said that NBA media is changing the way that players view themselves. After all, social media has become a part of daily life for many, and it wasn’t around during the league’s earlier stages.
The Heat’s final preseason game will be against the Houston Rockets on Oct. 20.