The Miami Heat are sizzling.
They currently boast the fourth-best record in the NBA , and they’ve lost just one game at home all season.
After finishing the 2018-2019 campaign with a losing record, the difference has been Jimmy Butler.
In July, the Heat brought in Butler on a four-year, $142 million deal. It’s paid off.
While Butler isn’t shooting particularly well, he’s averaging new career-highs in assists (6.6) and rebounds (6.8).
When Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra was asked if he was at all concerned by Butler’s shooting numbers, particularly from three-point range, he had this to say:
No. I don’t (have concerns). I know that’s what everybody will look to, quite naturally…but I think that’s what young players should learn coming into the league, of what a max player actually means.
It’s not about stats, it’s not about that final number on the box score, it’s not about whatever (NBA 2K) numbers you can get. It’s not. It’s about how your team functions and are you winning because of a player?
And there’s no debate about this—(Jimmy’s) having an incredible impact on our winning, on our bottomline. And that’s why we chased him so hard as a max player. That should be the definition from here on out, but it’s not. It gets clouded. Too often it becomes about stats or people who can pile up a bunch of stats, even at a young age, but they’re empty stats and they don’t impact winning.
Awesome stuff from Spo, and a great reminder for all the young athletes out there.
It’s easy to get caught up in gaudy numbers, particularly in the age of social media, but there are many ways to help your team win. It’s those little things that earn you the ultimate respect of your teammates and coaches.
Photo Credit: Ethan J. Skolnick