The Miami Heat are all the way in on Jimmy Butler’s guarantee as they don’t have a flight booked back to South Beach for Game 7.
Less than a week ago after the Boston Celtics had reeled off a pair of victories against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, Heat star Jimmy Butler put his trademark swagger on full display as he guaranteed that he and his team would be meeting the Denver Nuggets in the 2023 NBA Finals.
But now the series is knotted up entering a winner-take-all (or winner-take-trip-to-the-Finals, rather) Game 7 in Boston on Monday night. So are Butler and the Heat still feeling confident in that guarantee?
Their flight records indicate that’s indeed still the case — in fact, they’re doubling down on it.
South Florida sports radio host Andy Slater reported that FAA records have the Heat’s team plane scheduled for a flight to Denver after Game 7 on Monday night, not a return flight back to Miami. Simply, they are planning to fly to face the Nuggets in the NBA Finals, not go home.
Miami Heat book flight to Denver for NBA Finals, doubling down on Jimmy Butler’s guarantee
On one hand, maybe we shouldn’t read too much into this as, since it’s a private team plane, a change of course to fly to Miami wouldn’t be as much of a logistical nightmare as trying to book the trip to Denver. At the same time, however, the Heat are also displaying the right type of belief that they are still going to win the East.
And why shouldn’t they be confident? Yes, the Heat have now lost three straight after going up 3-0 — but they were also a wild buzzer-beating putback from Derrick White in Game 6 from already being in Denver ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. They certainly were in position to make good on Butler’s guarantee then, but just caught a bad break (and maybe should’ve boxed out a bit better).
Monday night will answer the question, though, if the Heat are making a mistake doubling down on the gutsy guarantee or if the saddest flight rescheduling in NBA history will be taking place in Boston.