Former Miami Heat player Markieff Morris said that the toxicity some associate with Jimmy Butler is unwarranted.
“I heard someone say he’s not good for every coach…a coach killer…he’s not like that at all,” Morris told Mavericks teammate Theo Pinson on their YouTube show “Run Your Race.” “He comes to practice every day, he don’t want to start no trouble.”
Pinson called Butler the “perfect, plug-and-play” roster member.
“Jimmy is so unselfish,” Morris added. “He hates the stamp of being one of those ‘superstar’ guys because he’s so much of a team player that when you put that stamp on guys, and [say] like, ‘Yo, he’s a superstar it’s his fault…he’s gotta take that last shot,’ he doesn’t play the game that way. So, his whole thing is like, don’t put that on me…I’m gonna play to win.”
Butler’s past has come up in recent interviews with Karl Anthony-Towns and Jeff Teague. Both players were on the Timberwolves and were present for Butler’s infamous 2018 practice in which he lashed out at teammates, coaches and management shortly before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Since then, Butler was traded from Philadelphia to Miami, where he’s led the Heat to NBA Finals and Eastern Conference finals series in two of the last three seasons. The Heat have a 3-1 lead over the Knicks and a chance to make the conference finals for the third time in four seasons. Morris, who spent last season on the Heat, compared Butler to LeBron James.
“You got guys that turn into different people in the playoffs. [Jimmy Butler] and ‘Bron stand out to me,” Morris said.
Morris also said the Heat will close out the series against New York tonight.
This and that
- Butler, Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith are available for Game 5 Wednesday night. Butler was listed on the injury report with an ankle injury, Martin with a back injury and Highsmith with a knee injury. Tyler Herro (hand) and Victor Oladipo (knee) remain out.
- Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau says Immanuel Quickley is out for Wednesday’s Game 5 with an ankle injury. Quickley also missed Game 4 in Miami after suffering the injury in the fourth quarter of New York’s Game 3 loss.
- “You mention the most important Heat people, Kyle Lowry has to be three or four on that list in this postseason,” said Yahoo’s Dan Devine. Lowry has helped solidify Miami’s second unit, which has become a strength for the Heat in this series.