Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler is known for his competitive spirit, and his cousin revealed just how competitive the six-time All-Star can be.
Butler’s cousin shared that Butler once insisted on rematches when playing a game of dominoes until he won.
“And everything is a competition with Butler,” Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni wrote. “He does not take losing anything lightly, from volleying with his tennis pals to slinging cards with his friends. Butler’s cousin Marqueese Grayson says Butler has gotten so upset over losing a game of dominoes that he insisted on rematches until he won, causing them to miss meals. Grayson says there have been times they’ve played dominoes for 12 hours straight – including while on vacation in the Bahamas. Other times Butler has gone hours without talking to people (including his own father) due to how upset he gets when he loses. On the Heat’s team plane, Butler gets so intense during the card game Phase 10, he starts telling everyone else how to play their hands.”
Heat fans have to love how much Butler hates to lose, as it shows why he’s so driven on the court during the season.
Miami has seen a ton of success since Butler joined the franchise prior to the 2019-20 season, and the five-time All-NBA selection is a major reason why.
The Heat have made the NBA Finals twice and the Eastern Conference Finals three times in the last four seasons. While the team has yet to win an NBA title with Butler on the roster, Miami still made history in the 2022-23 season.
The Heat and Butler became just the second team in NBA history to make the NBA Finals as a No. 8 seed last season. Butler’s competitive spirit helped him put together some massive games in the first round of the playoffs against the No. 1-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.
For the entire playoffs, Butler averaged 26.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game across 22 contests. He shot 46.8 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from 3-point range in the playoffs.
Against Milwaukee, Butler scored 35 points in Game 1 to lead the Heat to an upset victory. He followed that up with monster performances in Game 4 and and Game 5 of that series to close things out. In Game 4, Butler scored 56 points, hitting 19 of his 28 shots from the field. He then turned in a huge Game 5, scoring 42 points in Milwaukee to clinch the series.
Miami’s loss in the Finals may have motivated Butler even more entering the 2023-24 season, especially since there are stories of him getting upset over losing simple games in his free time.
The Heat are expected to be among the best teams in the Eastern Conference once again this season, and it’s hard to count them out as NBA Finals contenders as long as Butler is healthy and on the roster.