Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler and the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James have played against each other 42 times during their careers.
And the majority of the time the competition has been fierce. It was no different when they met Sunday's in the Heat's 113-107 victory at FTX Arena.
After the game, James had some strong words about Butler's competitive drive.
"Anytime you're playing this game throughout your career, there’s certain guys that stick out," James said of Butler. "That you know when you step on the floor, it's going to be maximum effort every possession and that's from both sides. You're gonna win some and you gonna lose some ... It was fun and exciting to be in that much."
Butler had his 10th triple-double in a Heat uniform, surpassing James' franchise record. James, who played in Miami from 2010-14, had some intense battles when Butler was with the Chicago Bulls. It continued when James was in Cleveland and Butler in Minnesota and Philadelphia.
"Every time we've matched up, no matter what uniform he's had on, I've had on," James said. We've always battled it out. I have nothing but for respect for a guy that brings it every single night, brings hit hard hat, punches his clock, leaves it all out on the floor."
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