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#pounditFriday, April 19, 2024

Tennis star Coco Gauff shares incredible Jimmy Butler story

Jimmy Butler holds the ball

Apr 19, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during game two of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler’s ability to manifest things is on a different level right now.

Tennis star Coco Gauff, the No. 6-ranked female singles player in the world, shared an amazing story this week about the Miami Heat star Butler. Gauff is a big fan of the Heat and said that Butler offered her tickets to see Miami in the NBA Finals … before the playoffs even began.

“This was before [the Heat] were in the playoffs. … He offered me tickets to see the last home game of the [regular] season,” Gauff said after a victory over Rebeka Masarova at the French Open this week, per ESPN. “Then he DM’d me a couple weeks later, asking if I wanted more tickets to see the postseason. I said, ‘I won’t be here. I’ll be in Madrid and then Rome and then France.’

“Then he said, ‘OK, when we make the Finals, let me know if your family wants some tickets,'” Gauff added of Butler. “This was before we were even in the playoffs. This is before we lost to the Hawks for the first play-in game. I just felt like I knew that. Everybody is like we have a 3 percent chance of making the Finals. But when he sent me that, I knew we were making the Finals. Because he didn’t say, ‘if we make the Finals.’ He said, ‘when we make the Finals.'”

That is a ridiculous called shot from Butler, whose team won just 44 games in the regular season. That locked them into the play-in tournament and meant, at best, a date with one of the two top seeds (the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics) in the first round. Miami lost their first play-in game to the Atlanta Hawks and trailed in the fourth quarter of their second play-in game against the Chicago Bulls before winning late. But somehow, some way, the Heat upset the Bucks in the first round, took care of their business against the New York Knicks in the second round, and put away the Celtics in the conference finals to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals … just as Butler told Gauff they would over a month ago.

Gauff, who grew up in Delray Beach, Fla., proudly displayed her Heat fandom at last year’s French Open. Now hopefully, her schedule works out with this year’s French Open so that she can make good on Butler’s offer and be there in person as the Heat battle the Denver Nuggets for the NBA title.

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