Jimmy Butler honors Erik Spoelstra by repping college uniform after clinching NBA Finals

Dylan Mickanen
·2 min read

Jimmy Butler honors Erik Spoelstra by repping college uniform after clinching NBA Finals originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The Miami Heat are the Eastern Conference Champions marking Erik Spoelstra's fifth trip to the NBA Finals.

To help the Portland native celebrate the accomplishment, Jimmy Butler ordered his head coach's University of Portland jersey to show him some love.

The gesture comes days after Butler showed up to Heat practice wearing Tyler Herro's high school jersey.

Spoelstra grew up in the Portland area and one high school summer, he told his parents rather than get a full-time job, he will work full-time becoming a better basketball player. After making a schedule, sticking to it and grinding all summer, Spoelstra returned to Jesuit High School a star-point guard, earning a multitude of college offers.

No wonder Spoelstra and Jimmy Butler, another notorious gym junkie, get along so well. The two embody Heat Culture through and through.

Spoelstra ultimately chose the University of Portland where he was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and started for four seasons as the Pilots point guard. Over his college career, Spoelstra averaged 9.2 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game and joined the school's 1,000 point club as well as placed high on numerous program leaderboards: 6th in 3-pointers (156), 4th in assists (488), and 9th in games started (97).

Following a two-year overseas playing career, Miami hired Spoelstra to be its video coordinator. From there, he worked his way up to assistant coach/video coordinator to assistant coach/advance scout to assistant coach/director of scouting before being named head coach in 2008.

While leading the Heat, Miami has won two NBA Championships and the Eastern Conference five times en route to becoming the winningest coach in franchise history.

Now, Spoelstra has a chance to win a title against his former player, LeBron James in the 2020 NBA Finals.

But in the meantime, it's time to celebrate for Miami.