Jimmy Butler has made a habit of publicly making bold predictions and, in a recent interview during his tour in China, the Miami Heat star made another championship commitment when he said, “This year is our year.”
Speaking with CBV after a Li Ning-sponsored event in China, Butler framed last season’s NBA Finals loss to the Denver Nuggets as another step toward winning his first championship, while also remarking that he doesn’t plan on playing for another team other than the Heat.
“I believe that with all my heart that we, I, will win a championship for the Miami Heat because I don’t plan on playing for another NBA team after the Miami Heat,” Butler said. “So I know that we are capable of doing this. I know that the team that Coach Pat and Coach Spo put around me and my teammates, we’re going to be fine. We’re always going to have an opportunity.
“This year is our year,” he continued. “I really do believe that. We understand what it takes to get there, we just have to get over that hump. Like I said, I’ll be better, we’ll all be better as a unit and the next time I’m talking to y’all here, I’ll be a one-time NBA champion.”
If this sounds familiar, it’s because Butler has made several claims of an impending championship over the last two seasons, including after losing in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference finals and multiple times during this last Finals run. Butler has explained this constant wagering as confidence in himself and his teammates.
More interesting is when Butler said, “I don’t plan on playing for another NBA team after the Miami Heat.” Butler is entering the first year of a three-year, $146 million contact extension that will pay him through his age-36 season. After leading the Heat to the doorstep of a championship in three of the last four seasons, it seems unlikely that they would trade him.
If anything, they will try to add more talent around him, as indicated by the Heat’s pursuit of Damian Lillard. Though there appears to be in impasse in trade talks between the Heat and Trail Blazers, Miami’s priority is to acquire Lillard and form a new star trio alongside Butler and Bam Adebayo.
The Heat’s offseason hinges on a deal. Having already lost Gabe Vincent and Max Strus in free agency, there isn’t much else Miami can do to improve the roster around Butler. Regardless of how this plays out, one thing we know for certain is that Butler’s public confidence will not waiver. When given a chance, with or without Lillard, he will bet on himself again.