Jimmy Butler had funny screw-up during interview after eliminating 76ers
It felt like Jimmy Butler could not miss in Thursday’s series-clinching win against the Philadelphia 76ers. It turns out that all he needed to do to brick one was step in front of the microphone.
The Miami Heat star Butler led all scorers with 32 points in Game 6 as Miami officially eliminated the 76ers from the playoffs and clinched an Eastern Conference Finals berth for themselves.
During his sideline interview with ESPN after the game went final, Butler gave credit to “Coach Pat” for the team’s success.
“Coach Pat know what he doing,” said Butler. “He believe in guys, he empower guys, and he let guys go out there and hoop.”
Coach Pat? Don’t you mean Spo? pic.twitter.com/CEeTYKLUHD
— Maggie Gray (@MaggieGray) May 13, 2022
Of course, Heat president Pat Riley, who was in attendance for Thursday’s game, is no longer head coach of the Heat and has not been in many years now. Instead, Miami’s coach is Erik Spoelstra, who is the longest-tenured coach in the Eastern Conference, having served in his post since 2008.
It is possible that Butler personally refers to Riley as “Coach Pat.” But since Butler did not mention Spoelstra at all during the interview and was talking about qualities that a head coach usually exhibits, it sounds like this was just a funny slip of the tongue.
That is not to say, however, that Riley does not still have a major role in day-to-day operations for the Heat — quite the opposite actually as Riley has a reputation as the one calling all shots behind the scenes. We even heard funny stories recently about how Riley still makes his presence felt.