Did Jimmy Butler win NBA All-Star Media Day?
It appears Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler is winning even on non-game days.
Once considered a bad teammate, Butler was the clear winner of Saturday's NBA All-Star Media Day at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. He said and did all the right things. From publicizing center Bam Adebayo to praising Heat "culture" to participating in a friendly soccer game at midcourt with Adebayo and the Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, it was hard to find anything critical about Butler's day. By late afternoon, his comments and actions were trending on Twitter. Here's a quick glance at some of what he said on the eve of the All-Star Game:
On his teammates participating in All-Star Weekend: "I'm excited for these guys, as I tell them all the time when we're back in Miami, I think they're a huge part in our success, and I'm so happy for them. Obviously, I want those guys to win, but if they don't, it's okay. I think it's a privilege and an opportunity to be acknowledged and even to be out there competing with the guys that they're competing against, but if I had to put my money on somebody, I'd put it on my guys."
On positions in the NBA: "Is there really a position now? Like Bam, is our point guard when I'm not on the floor. Even when I am on the floor, Bam still brings the ball up. So power forward, center, we joke around with it all the time in practice. Sooner or later, Bam is going to let me do a jump-ball. That's my goal. It's my goal because there's no positions any more."
On not being an All-Starter: "That means nothing to me because I'd rather Bam start. I legit believe Bam is the reason that we're winning. I legit believe that. He switches one through five. He passes the ball. He scores the ball. He blocks shots. He's what every team wants to have."
On the All-Star experience: "I feel like I've been to an All-Star Game before, but I think it's always a little bit special where my whole NBA career started here in Chicago, a lot of love for this city. But as far as the upbringing part goes, I feel like I'm so far removed from that, man, that I'm so stuck in the right now and moving forward that overall it's just a blessing to be able to wake up and play basketball."
On Pat Riley: "Everything I heard about Pat is legit for real. He's straight to the point, direct, involved in everything. and I love it. That just shows me that he cares and wants to win and wants to win now. None of this is guaranteed. He realizes it. Everybody in Miami, everybody in the organization realizes it, so you try to make it happen."
On returning to Chicago, where he once played: "Man, this city's done a lot for me. To me, kids are so important, and I love this city. So every time I come back, I try to do as much as I can with them. Just knowing when you have a professional athlete that's there that you can see their face and you're doing so many different things with them, I think it means the world to those kids, and it's definitely pointing them in the right direction."