Jimmy Butler is a tough defender who does not back down from anyone. As one of the league’s best two-way players, he wishes the NBA would relax its rules on physicality and sometimes allow players to get into brawls.
The game has changed
Physicality in the NBA changed as the game evolved. Games are televised globally, and the roughness and physicality have to be toned down. The players have become role models to the youth, and the NBA doesn’t want to make it appear that there’s room for violence in any sports. Still, basketball is a physical game, and it’s expected that there’s some roughhousing among players, especially when the stakes are high. For Butler, he wishes the NBA would let them get more physical.
“I just think the game has changed in a lot of ways. They’re not letting you get into no brawls no more. Nobody’s going to let you do that. I wish that they would let us do that a little bit, if I’m just being honest. I really do think they’re still there. The game has just changed. It’s not as much banging and knocking people to the ground anymore. You can’t do it like that—you get a flagrant 1, a flagrant 2, a tech, something. I wish it would go back to that time.”
Jimmy Butler, Complex
Jimmy Buckets for sure wasn’t referring to the Bad Boys era of the Detroit Pistons. Those fouls could end anyone’s career. JB probably wants the referees to allow players to get physical, some pushing and shoving but nothing dirty. After all, emotions are raw in heated moments and can also serve as fuel to light a fire in some players.
Butler on what makes Pat Riley different
The Miami Heat star was also asked what makes Pat Riley different. The Heat executive was instrumental in luring stars to play for Miami, such as LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Jimmy Butler. For JB, it’s easy to buy into Riley’s vision because he’s someone who’s won everything.
“We always buy in because he’s always right. If you’re talking about the Knicks or the Lakers, he’s been around those teams and those players. So it’s like, you know what? Maybe he’s right. There are not many times that he’s down there talking, but when he is, everybody’s so locked in because it doesn’t happen often.”
Pat is one of the biggest reasons for Miami’s success. His partnership with Erik Spoelstra and the system they’re running are the secret behind the fact the Heat is on top of the East Conference despite injuries, COVID absences, and player movement.
They may not be the favorite in the East, but you can be sure 29 teams hope they don't have to play Miami in the playoffs. That's as great as a compliment a team can get.