Why does Jimmy Butler hate Adrian Griffin?

Oct 2, 2023; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler poses for a photo during media day. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2023; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler poses for a photo during media day. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /

Jimmy Butler said Wednesday that he’s not disappointed that the Miami Heat did not trade for Damian Lillard or Jrue Holiday this offseason, but did lament the fact that Lillard is now playing for an Eastern Conference rival.

“I’m happy for both of those guys,” Butler said. “I’m more pissed off that [Lillard] went to Milwaukee, because he went to [new Bucks coach] Adrian Griffin’s team, and everybody knows I don’t like Adrian Griffin at all since my Chicago days.”

As that clip made the rounds on social media, many wondered about Butler’s beef with Griffin. Butler, obviously, was using the opportunity to poke fun at Griffin, who was a Bulls assistant coach during Butler’s time in Chicago. In fact, it was Griffin who worked most closely with Butler during his rookie season. So the two have a strong bond.

Butler insists that he doesn’t say or do things in front of the media to get attention.

“I don’t troll people. I’m minding my business,” Butler said with a grin. “I’m not bothering anybody. People just like to pay attention to what I’m doing. People care about me a little bit, I guess.”

Other examples, to name a few just from the past few days, include his “emo” outfit at Monday’s media day and accusing the Bucks of tampering in their deal for Lillard.

“I just say stuff all the time on my socials,” Butler said. “It’s funny because nobody ever knows what I’m doing. So it’s a big deal whenever I do do something on social besides play dominoes and go to tennis matches. So if I say check somebody for tampering, I guess everybody takes it serious.”

Here are a few other notable quotes from Butler’s availability.

  • When asked about the NBA’s new 65-game threshold to be eligible for awards and honors, Butler said it wouldn’t impact how he approaches the regular season. ” I don’t care about no All-NBA team, I don’t care about no damn awards. I’m going to play the games that I am healthy and I’m going to go out there and help my team win. They can put a number on whatever they want to put a number with, everybody can hate me, I’m still going to eat dinner with my kid at night. So that’s all I care about.”
  • How many games does Butler, 34, want to play? “Ten.” (He was joking, if that’s not clear.)
  • On Nikola Jovic: “He be walking with his chest up. He gained some confidence this summer. I like that. He’s becoming more aware of how good a basketball player he is and how he belongs in this league, and on the world stage as well,” he said. “I think he knows he’s going to be up here with us and he’s going to play a significant role.”
  • On Jaime Jaquez Jr.: “He makes all the right plays. He kind of plays like a vet. He’s very, very smart. Knows where the ball has to go and is very confident in his abilities and plays to his strengths.”
  • Is he going to shoot more 3s this season, after taking only 1.6 3-pointers per game last season: “Probably not.”