Joel Embiid is embracing his villain side, and Jimmy Butler is trying to recruit him.
Embiid on Sunday night shushes the Philadelphia 76ers home crowd after making a 3-pointer in the final minute. Embiid appeared to be sick of being booed and told them to “shut the f— up.”
After the game, Embiid said he was going back to his a-hole persona.
Embiid seems to be confirming his heel-turn. He posted a photo on Instagram that showed him shushing the crowd, along with a quote from Harvey Dent in “The Black Night” about dying a hero or living long enough to see yourself become the villain.
Jimmy Butler already recruiting Joel Embiid to the Heat.
Here we go. pic.twitter.com/EwHIwAifYR
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) February 11, 2020
Clearly Embiid seems to think he is becoming the villain.
The funny part is Butler, who was teammates with Embiid in Philly last year but is now with Miami, told Embiid to come to the Heat, where villains are welcome. The 76ers aren’t about to let Embiid go, and Embiid probably doesn’t want to leave. But Butler doesn’t mind tampering like that.
Luka Doncic has officially made it.
Jimmy Butler had a big game for the Miami Heat in their 137-106 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. He scored a season-high 38 points and did it all in three quarters.
In his postgame interview, Butler said he “felt like Luka (Doncic) out there.”
Jimmy after dropping 38 in three quarters against the Sixers: "I felt like Luka out there" pic.twitter.com/zE69OSABRR
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 4, 2020
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban liked Butler’s reference to Doncic and tweeted about it.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 4, 2020
Doncic has been out with an ankle injury but is averaging 28.8 points per game for Dallas this season. He has made quick work of his opponents on numerous occasions, and even put up a historic performance in a single quarter earlier this year.
When your name is cited as the benchmark for dominance, you know you’ve made it.
Jimmy Butler is the leader of a top-four team in the league, and his head coach thinks that should have counted for more in an All-Star context.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said on Friday that it was “a joke” Butler was not voted as a starter for the Eastern Conference in this year’s All-Star Game, per Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
Starting for the East instead are Boston’s Kemba Walker and Atlanta’s Trae Young in the backcourt along with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid in the frontcourt.
Butler, meanwhile, has done a little bit of everything this year for the Heat, averaging 20.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. The result to this point has been a 31-13 season for Miami, placing them second in the East and in a tie for the third-best record in the league.
Fortunately, Butler is still a virtual lock to make the team as a reserve, and he probably thinks that another Heat player should be selected as well.
Jimmy Butler did not hold back one bit about his disdain for TJ Warren after the two of them got into it during Wednesday’s game.
In the third quarter of the Miami Heat’s 122-108 win over the Indiana Pacers, Butler and Warren traded words after a hard foul and had to be separated.
“You’re f***ing trash!”
Jimmy Butler & TJ Warren exchange some words.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 9, 2020
Once play resumed, Warren was ejected for taunting Butler following an offensive foul. That led to Butler blowing kisses to Warren, and Warren responding by giving him the middle finger.
Jimmy Butler blows kisses to TJ Warren after getting him ejected pic.twitter.com/BOLudjTeCG
— ClutchPoints NBA (@ClutchPointsNBA) January 9, 2020
TJ Warren is Jimmy Butler’s #1 fan pic.twitter.com/f8pDDFsBVA
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 9, 2020
After the game, Butler lit into Warren like a Christmas tree.
“To me, I think it’s tough for him because I can guard him and he can’t guard me,” said Butler, per Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “Because at the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to. Like I said, I think you just gotta watch your mouth in certain situations. There’s some s— that you just don’t say as a man. He gotta see me the next time because I feel like what he said was truly disrespectful. And it’s all good cuz we see him again.
“I ain’t scared of nobody,” Butler continued. “So he talking about, ‘We gonna fight,’ this, that, this, that. It is what it is … He’s soft, he’s soft, he’s not even in my f—ing league. Like, nowhere near me. If I was their coach, I would never put him on me ever again. Like, no. Put somebody else on me because I’m gonna tear his a– up every time … He can’t do nothing with me. Like when I say that he’s trash, I mean that. He’s not in my league. I take it as disrespect if you ever put him on me.”
The Heat next play the Pacers on Mar. 20 in Miami, but for now, it looks like Butler did Warren even dirtier than he did Trae Young.
The Miami Heat are looking like a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference, and Jimmy Butler may not even be the biggest reason for that. Butler has done what most expected of him, but the leap made by Bam Adebayo is the biggest story out of Miami.
That is clearly not lost on Butler.
Following Wednesday’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Butler was asked about the belief that a team needs two or three star players to win in the NBA. The reporter noted that the Heat are 20-8 despite having only “one star,” but Butler made sure to give Adebayo a shoutout.
Reporter to Jimmy Butler: "What do you say when they say you need a team of two to three stars and this team has just one star?"
Jimmy: "This is a team of one star? Who is that? Bam [Adebayo]?
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) December 19, 2019
Butler is averaging 20.9 points to go along with a career-high 6.8 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game. He is Miami’s best all-around player and certainly the most recognizable, but Adebayo has played an equally — if not more — important role. The third-year big man is having a breakout season with averages of 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
The Heat currently have the third-best record in the East behind only the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. Butler has been trying to tell people all season that they aren’t going anywhere, and he realizes he’s not the only reason for that.
Jimmy Butler trolled Trae Young after the Miami Heat’s comeback win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
Young assisted on a layup by Alex Len with 59.9 seconds remaining to give the Hawks a 117-111 win over the Heat. After the basket, Young made a motion with his arms and said “it’s over.”
— Jon Anker (@jmanker) December 11, 2019
You can guess what happened next. The Heat made a couple of threes, including one by Butler to tie the game and send it to overtime. and Miami obliterated Atlanta 18-4 in the extra period to win 135-121.
Naturally, Butler went on Instagram afterwards and trolled Young.
“this man @traeyoung is a teller of the future. he was right. game WAS over!” Butler wrote.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Jimmy Butler (@jimmybutler) on
Young at least tried to play it cool on Twitter.
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) December 11, 2019
A loss like that will probably only add to the frustration Young has reportedly been feeling.
The Miami Heat are off to an excellent start in a season in which many were unsure of what to expect from them, and Jimmy Butler insists the results are not a fluke.
After Butler scored 21 points in Miami’s 124-100 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, he told reporters that the Heat are not going to be surprising opponents for very long. He believes the 10-3 start shows they’re “for real.”
Jimmy Butler on the 10-3 Heat: "We can't keep surprising people. We're for real. I don't think anybody wants to play against us and that's the way we want to keep it."
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 21, 2019
Butler has obviously helped turn the Heat into a contender in the Eastern Conference, but the big story so far has been the leap third-year big man Bam Adebayo has taken. The former No. 14 overall pick is averaging a double-double with 13.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He’s also making a major impact with his tremendous defense.
Miami won just 39 games last year and missed the playoffs, and the belief from many was that trading for Butler wouldn’t be enough to get them over the hump. If Adebayo and others continue to step up, it just might be. The East is top heavy after Kawhi Leonard left the Toronto Raptors in free agency, so there’s no reason the Heat can’t compete for a top seed.