Butler concurs with the Heat legend’s assessment.
“This is Jimmy Butler’s era,” says Wade, who spent the 2016-17 season playing alongside Butler in Chicago.
“I think Jimmy has been very clear. Conversations that we had about Miami early on. There are certain people you just know are Miami Heat guys where you know the culture,” Wade said.
“I always thought Jimmy was that. I always thought Jimmy’s personality and his crazy was perfect for Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra’s crazy. So it’s great. One thing I told Jimmy when he got there is, ‘This is Jimmy Butler’s era. Don’t worry about people saying anything about Dwyane Wade. I’m old and retired and gone. You don’t have to worry about me anymore. Focus on what you’re trying to build with Miami in your time there. Don’t ever feel like you have to be me or anybody else that’s come before you. You just have to be Jimmy Butler.’”
After hearing about Wade’s comments, Butler agreed. When asked why he thinks he has the right brand of “crazy” for this Heat team, Butler praised the tough-minded Heat culture that has defined Riley’s tenure in South Beach.
“I think it’s all based off of honesty, truthfulness, hard work and intention,” Butler told ESPN after scoring 24 points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing 7 rebounds in a 134-129 overtime win over the Washington Wizards. “And I feel like when you talk about myself, you talk about Spo, you talk about Coach Pat, that’s what all of this thing is based off of: how hard you work, how you can keep it real with one another and not take anything personal. It fits for me here. I’m loving it, man. They’re constantly in my ear, and we’re constantly going back and forth, figuring out ways that I can be better. How I can make everybody else better. But this culture — I’m super happy to be here. I’m fortunate to be here, man. This is a great group of guys. It’s a great organization. But like [Wade] said, this is the right type of crazy for me.”