— Ethan J. Skolnick, 5 Reasons Sports (@EthanJSkolnick) January 24, 2022
“Anytime you play in this game, throughout your career ,there’s certain guys that stick out,” James said. “That you know when you step on the floor, it’s going to be maximum effort every possession, and that’s for both sides. You’re gonna win some, and you’re going to lose some, but the respect after the game is always gon’ be – it was fun and exciting to be in that matchup.
“And that’s been like that throughout Jimmy’s whole career every time I’ve matched up with him.”
James’ praise didn’t stop there for Butler, as the two have faced off in several different stages of their careers.
“Every time we’ve matched up, no matter what uniform he’s had on or I had on, we’ve always battled it out,” James said. “Nothing but respect for a guy that brings it every single night, brings his hard hat, punches his clock and leave it all on the floor.”
Butler had a monster game in the win over the Lakers, as he put up a triple-double for Miami. The Heat star had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in the game.
James and Butler matched up in the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 season in the Orlando, Fla. bubble.
While the Lakers had rolled through the first few rounds of that postseason, Butler and the Heat gave them a serious battle in the NBA Finals, forcing the series to go to six games.
It’s clear that James has a ton of respect for the way that Butler plays the game and how he has led his team.
The Heat and Butler are looking to win the Eastern Conference in the 2021-22 season and make it back to the NBA Finals.