Jimmy Butler had off-the-chart levels of confidence (and sass) about the Miami Heat’s upcoming games and roasted one sorry reporter on Sunday night.
Even if the Miami Heat were dead-last in the NBA standings, Butler would probably still think he could make the playoffs. That’s how much confidence he had when he was asked about Heat’s difficult schedule in the final stretch of the regular season.
In a post-game press conference on Sunday night, a reporter fielded some provocative questions to the Miami star about his upcoming schedule against “tough” teams. Butler didn’t even bat an eye and responded, “Maybe if your sorry ass was on our team it’d be tough, but I think we’ll be just fine.”
Cue some awkward laughter, and Butler winks and breaks into a toothy, cocky grin that may yet comfort nail-biting Heat fans who have a right to be worried about Miami’s playoffs hopes.
Butler clearly has some rapport with the reporter, but his uber-easy-going attitude reveals just how comfortable he is with being put in the spotlight.
Jimmy Butler wants reporters to know that the Heat are going to be just fine
A five-time All-Star, Butler is no stranger to pressure: he’s always held onto his underdog mentality and has proven to be the rock-solid core of the team even when the odds aren’t in his favor. It’s the mentality that helped weasel Miami into last year’s NBA finals, and it’s the mentality that Butler will continue to have regardless of the circumstances.
This also isn’t the first time Butler has been nonchalant about his team’s standings. In the past, he has repeatedly brushed off topics like playoff seedings and made it clear that he only focuses on winning games.
As it stands, Miami could gain very important ground going into the postseason. The Heat are 1.5 games behind the fourth-seeded (and ever-so-surprising) New York Knicks and play the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. They’ll then face an unpredictable Timberwolves team that somehow keeps beating the No.1 seeded Utah Jazz. Coming up on the horizon, their next two games against the seventh-seeded Boston Celtics could make or break their playoff chances. Cap it off with a couple of games against the 76ers and the Bucks, and you have a red-hot playoff race indeed.
Miami still has work to do, and the reporter really isn’t wrong about the Heat’s tough schedule. In the future, he’ll probably avoid asking Butler questions about it, though.
Either Butler is an excellent actor, or the Miami man has nerves of steel. To all the haters and the fans, to the league and to the press, Butler only has one thing to say: bring on the heat.