ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith has been known to have some controversial takes.
One of these takes regards Jimmy Butler’s trade to the Miami Heat in 2019.
Butler was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Heat in a four-team deal that included the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers. The Sixers received Josh Richardson and Al Horford in this trade, which made room to sign Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons. The blockbuster deal baffled Smith at time. He said that Butler will not only be going to a worse team, but will ultimately have a smaller impact on the franchise.
“You’ll never be loved the way you were loved in Philadelphia,” Smith said. “Then you go to Miami. They’re not gonna be better than Philadelphia, and he’s not going to be Dwyane Wade. In the end, he’s going to Miami, and you know what Jimmy Butler’s gonna be? Just another really, really good basketball player.”
Former First Take analyst Max Kellerman chimed in to disagree with Smith, saying that Butler will be a significant figure in the history of Heat basketball. Smith then doubled down, saying that Miami will not win with Butler on the team.
“There is nobody in the Miami Heat who is significant unless they win and Miami is not going to win,” Smith continued.
This video surfaced on Facebook yesterday by Heat fans on social media after the Heat clinched their second Conference Finals appearance in the past three years. The caption read, “This video aged like milk. Goes to show you that no one knows anything about Heat Culture.”
Butler is now beloved by Heat Nation, as he has the possibility of taking Miami to their second Finals appearance as a member of the team.
Jayden Armant is a contributor to Inside The Heat. He is a student at Howard University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jaydenarmant.