The Miami Heat and Jimmy Butler appear to be navigating troubled waters. The Heat have now lost back-to-back games to two undermanned teams. After losing to the Philadelphia 76ers, who were playing without Joel Embiid and James Harden, on Monday, the Heat went on to lose to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. The Heat dropped the game 104-118 in front of their home fans even as the visitors played without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
If the loss itself wasn’t bad enough, the Miami Heat also had to bear the ignominy of a heated in-game exchange between Udonis Haslem, Jimmy Butler and head coach Erik Spoelstra. The episode occurred during a timeout in the second half of the game after the Warriors went on a 19-0 run to take a 69-50 lead in the contest. During the time out, veteran Heat player Haslem and Spoelstra both appeared to be cussing out Butler. Spoelstra went first, saying:
“What? You think I’m going to fu*king fight you?”
Haslem then challenged Butler, remarking:
“I’ll beat your a*s.”
Things got even more animated between Jimmy Butler and Erik Spoelstra. The Miami Heat head coach threw a clipboard down in Butler’s direction, with players having to intervene to separate the two.
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra makes light of animated exchange with Jimmy Butler
Following the loss to the Warriors, the Miami Heat head coach had to explain the episode featuring Butler, Haslem and himself. Spoelstra initially made light of the entire event. He said:
“Everybody was wondering where the dinner plans were tonight after the game.”
Spoelstra then explained what led to the outburst between Butler, Haslem and himself. He said:
“It was pretty clear. We have a very competitive, gnarly group and we were getting out as**s kicked and it’s two straight games we’re not playing to the level we want to play. I’d say virtually every single person in that huddle was pretty animated about our disappointment in how we were playing.”
Bam Adebayo, too, was asked about what transpired in the huddle. The Heat forward, who finished with 25 points and nine rebounds, opined:
“At the end of the day, we’re brothers. We gonna get through this… In practice we get like that to the point where it looks like we wanna fight each other and get that mad but it’s just the competitive nature of this team.”