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Jimmy Butler once said he would "never wear a Miami Heat jersey"

Jimmy Butler hating Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler hating Miami Heat

"I'm constantly smiling because I am happy,"Jimmy Butler said amid his first season in Miami. "I'm home and everything about this organization fits me." But he hasn't always felt that way about the Heat.

“The one thing I’d never wear is … a Miami Heat jersey”

During an interview for the August 2013 edition of Chicago Splash, going into Butler's third season with the Bulls, the shooting guard told the magazine that the one thing would never wear is "a Miami Heat jersey."

Eight years after making that comment and two years after he's helped lead Miami to the 2020 NBA Finals, as the Heat are once again sneaking into title contention, Butler can do nothing but smile about it.

I knew I was going to end up here way back then. So I said it then just so I could make the tabloids think I could predict the future.

Jimmy Butler, Sun Sentinel

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Having spent six years with the Bulls, in the midst of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh dominating the league, Butler had no option but to hate the Heat. The fact the two teams developed a rivalry only added fuel to the fire.

I’ve got so much love for Chicago. That’s where I first learned to hate the Miami Heat. And then when I left, I learned to love the Miami Heat, and the way that they do things.

Jimmy Butler, Sun Sentinel

Between playing in Chicago and going to Miami, Butler suited up for the Timberwolves and 76ers before being traded to South Beach. Other than his hometown, the star forward has had trouble finding him home in the league. But it seems he's found one in Miami.

Back to title contention?

Twenty games into the season, the Heat are sitting as the two seed in the East -- they are 13-7, one game behind the top-seeded Nets. Butler is once again the team's best player, averaging 23.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on 51.9% shooting, all the while orchestrating one of the league's best defenses -- the fourth-best DRtg (104.4).

Miami's biggest off-season addition, Kyle Lowry, proved to be a perfect fit with the rest of the group. Bam Adebayo is once again making a case for one of the best two-way players in the association. Tyler Herro is proving he's worthy of being mentioned in the same breath with the likes of Luka Doncic and Trae Young, based on their performances thus far. But the key to the Heat's success is, and always has been No.22.

The one who said he would never wear a Heat jersey is now putting it on with pride. They may have gotten off on the wrong foot, but the relationship between Butler and Miami is all love now as they're ready to make another run at the NBA championship.

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