The sideline tiff between Jimmy Butler and Erik Spoelstra has caused some Miami Heat fans to doubt their team’s chances at winning it all this season. It might have shown the real relationship between their franchise star and head coach, a picture that doesn’t look rosy. A recent report confirms this to be true - Spoelstra and Butler have been having communication problems all season long.
A series of tweets from Five Reasons Sports details what’s been going on in the Heat locker room since the Butler-Spoelstra dispute last week. The good thing is that the two have been ironing out their differences since the incident. It turns out that two have been having problems all season long. That sideline verbal altercation was the peak.
This is an interesting detail. After all, Spoelstra panned concerns in the press conference after his heated verbal exchange with Butler. The head coach says that that’s just how his team is built. Everyone’s volume knob is set to the maximum. Tempers flare, and that’s just the norm.
This seems to have worked wonders for the Heat. For most of the season, they’re either on top or very close to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. But after the incident, the question now is how long they can keep it up before they cannot stand one another any longer.
The thing is, Butler has had some locker room issues in the past. His short stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he reportedly talked smack to both his teammates and his front office, revealed Butler’s intense nature and how things can get out of hand if he doesn’t get his wishes.
Five Reasons Sports noted that while the Butler-Spoelstra incident opened up all communication lines, the Heat are also still cognizant of how tough it is to deal with Butler at times.
“The sideline incident, while not something the organization wanted, was a rare time this season that the communication was that clear & open. The organization still strongly supports Butler, even while acknowledging he (like many stars in Heat history) has ‘difficult’ moments....”
At this point, it’s still a matter of wait-and-see. The playoffs are just around the corner, which will be the ultimate test for the Heat. Can Spoelstra and Butler fix their problems in time? Or will it be too much that it would lead to an early playoff exit? If so, could this be the end of the Butler era in Miami?