Jimmy Butler Utters Confident Statement About Heat's Playoff Fate

The Miami star didn't hold back in a recent interview.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat were bounced from the NBA playoffs in five games by the Boston Celtics, but star Jimmy Butler believes things would have been different if he was healthy.

Butler suffered a sprained MCL during the play-in tournament against the Philadelphia 76ers. He missed all five games against the Celtics.

"If I was playing, Boston would be at home," Butler recently said in an interview with Rock the Bells. "New York would d--- sure be f--king at home."

The Celtics cruised to the Eastern Conference's best record (64–18) this season, but Butler's confidence likely is coming from the rivals' recent playoff history. The Heat got the better of Boston in both the 2020 and '23 conference finals.

Butler was named the 2023 Eastern Conference finals MVP after tallying 24.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game against the Celtics.

Butler ended his quick interview with Rock the Bells by addressing New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, who he played for with the Chicago Bulls from 2011 to '15 and again with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2017 to '19.

Thibodeau and the Knicks are set to face the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers in six games.

"I love Thibs, but I don't want him to win," Butler said. "Thibs, I love you baby, but I want to beat you to a pulp. It's like a one-sided relationship. You're in love with me. I love you, but I'm not in love with you."

Butler, 34, will be paid over $48 million by the Heat next season. He has a $52.4 million player option on his contract for the 2025-26 campaign.

Tom Dierberger


Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.