Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler refused to waste the opportunity.
He couldn't wait to take a jab at his coach, Erik Spoelstra, during Saturday's NBA All-Star media session. Here's what he said about playing for the opposite team against Spoelstra.
"I'm glad I get to be with a real coach like Monty Williams over here for a change," Butler joked.
Butler will play for Williams on Team LeBron while Spoelstra will lead Team Durant.
"No, it's going to be fun," Butler said. "I'm going to talk some trash. and I can't get in trouble for it. He is the enemy at least for this weekend and I'll definitely take advantage of that."
After the ribbing, Butler praised Spoelstra, who has led the Heat to the top seed in the Eastern Conference despite several injuries. Butler said Spoelstra was deserving of being named on the Top 15 coaches in NBA history.
"I think even he was surprised but honestly I don't know that many coaches," Butler said. "But I know Spo, I would put him in my top 15."
LOWRY THE HEAT'S TOP GOLFER?
Butler rarely admits he is inferior in any competition.
He did, however, give credit to teammate Kyle Lowry's golf game.
"He absolutely loves to golf," Butler said. "It's absolutely annoying because it's the one thing he knows he can beat me at. That's where the conversation goes any time it's about competing, it's always, `You can't beat me in golf.' Other than that, I think the guy is incredible."'
Butler later added, "Literally, I can beat Kyle at anything else, just not golf."
Butler used his media session to stress the importance of Lowry's presence. He has made a strong impact since being acquired last summer during a trade.
"We know what he does on the floor," Butler said. But I just think how he manages everybody on our team in the locker room, making sure the mood is always light, everybody smiling and happy. I didn't know he was capable of that but he does a great of that."
ARE THE HEAT REALLY UNDERDOGS?
Among the hot topics during NBA All-Star Weekend has been the Heat flying under the radar.
Not so fast, says Butler.
While the media has taken this narrative, Butler said he knows the rest of the league respects the Heat.
"I don't think so," Butler said. "We're like No. 1 in the East. We're not flying under the radar. I think people know that we're good. Whether they believe we can win or not, I think that nobody is skipping Miami on the schedule. I think it's going to be a dogfight, it's going to be a good game whatever game we're in. Right now, I don't think we're overlooked."
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