Miami Heat's Pat Riley Appreciating Jimmy Butler from afar

Shandel Richardson

Miami Heat team president Pat Riley knows his days as a coach are long gone.

Which is why he has no intention of interrupting the relationship between Heat forward Jimmy Butler and coach Erik Spoelstra. Riley said he has developed a bond with Butler, but refuses to intervene with Spoelstra.

“Jimmy is a different kind of person," Riley said. "And my relationship with him this year would be one that’s outside of the box because I don’t want to get in the way of what Erik Spoelstra is teaching him and his coaching staff.”

The Heat traded for Butler last summer. While many questioned the acquisition, the move paid off more than the Heat ever expected. After entering the playoffs as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, they advanced to the NBA Finals and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

Riley has kept at a distance while enjoying Butler's breakout.

Butler established himself as a top-tier star by leading the Heat in scoring and displaying his two-way player skills set.

“He’s a competitor, he works hard, he’s in great shape,” Riley said. “I think he loves it here … I think you can form a real bond sometimes with body language, with silence, with nods from my seat to the court without having to have long conversations with these guys, so I love Jimmy Butler.”

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Great leadership. Erik Spoelstra is very fortunate to receive the results he has obtained for his diligent work.