Knicks star admits Jimmy Butler and Erik Spoelstra lived rent-free in his head all of last summer

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The Miami Heat have a way of getting inside the heads of their opponents, and it looks like that’s exactly what happened with New York Knicks star Josh Hart.

Hart and fellow Knicks teammate Jalen Brunson were looking back on their 2023-24 NBA season, and Hart let it slip that he had the Heat on his mind for much of the offseason leading up to the campaign.

“I thought about Miami all summer,” Hart said. “… I was thinking about Spo (Erik Spoelstra), Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry. That’s all I thought about last summer.”

Of course, Hart is referencing the fact that the Heat defeated the Knicks in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. As fans will remember well, the Heat entered the playoff bracket as a play-in team. They then did what few thought was possible and advanced all the way through the bracket and into the 2023 NBA Finals.

Unfortunately for Spoelstra, Butler, Lowry and the rest of the Heat roster, the Cinderella run ended there when they faced off against the buzz saw that was the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets.

This season, the Heat had much different luck in the playoffs. Like last season, they entered the playoffs after winning in the play-in tournament. However, that’s where the similarities ceased. The Heat were severely undermanned in the playoffs, playing their first-round series without key contributors such as Butler and guard Terry Rozier.

Despite that, they still managed to steal one win from the Boston Celtics in Game 2. That’s where the fun ended for Heat fans, though, and the Celtics won the following three games to close out the series in five games.

Now, the Heat enter an offseason that is filled with uncertainty. It is known that Butler is seeking a maximum two-year extension on his deal. It is not known if the Heat are planning on fulfilling that wish. That could certainly lead to Butler heading elsewhere to continue his NBA career, and reports are indicating that is a possibility.

Butler’s departure would mark an end of an era of Heat basketball that has been both incredibly rewarding and slightly disappointing. Since joining the Heat, Butler has made promises about winning a title. The Heat have won the East twice since his arrival in Miami, but have failed to deliver on that ultimate goal.

In the next few months, Heat fans will likely find out if Butler’s title chase in Miami is over or if he still has more time to make good on that promise.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.