The Miami Heat are not only Jimmy Butler’s preferred trade destination, but among the few teams the All-Star might re-sign with in 2019 free agency, per New York Times scribe Marc Stein, an impeccably sourced NBA reporter. Except, one source is refuting Stein’s report: the 2013 version of Butler himself.
That’s right. In a cushy interview for the August 2013 edition of Chicago Splash uncovered by Redditors in recent days, Butler told the magazine, “The one thing I’d never wear is … a Miami Heat jersey.”
The one thing i’d never wear is…
a Miami Heat jersey.
-Jimmy Butler pic.twitter.com/Et17Fbhpy3
— ✶✶✶✶ (@NotARoleModeI) September 19, 2018
As the 2015 version of Doc Brown might say whenever the 1985 version of Marty McFly showed up in a DeLorean, “Great Scott!” (Timely “Back to the Future” reference, there.) Butler may not have actually traveled decades into the future, but in NBA years, it’s practically the same for Butler as it was McFly.
In the summer of 2013, Butler was entering his third season with the Chicago Bulls, having battled the Heat for playoff positioning the previous two years and lost to Miami in the second round in 2013. The LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade-led Heat were the then-23-year-old’s chief rivals.
Between then and now, James has left Miami for Cleveland, won a championship with the Cavaliers, and left Cleveland for Los Angeles. Bosh has all but retired. Wade has left Miami for Chicago, played a season with Butler on the Bulls, left Chicago for Cleveland, and been traded back to Miami. Oh, and Butler has been traded from Chicago to the Minnesota Timberwolves, only to request another trade.
A lot can change in five years, never mind how much changes for everyone between their early and late 20s. Butler has since developed a close friendship with Wade, save for that whole part about ogling his former (and possibly future) teammate’s wife on Instagram. Wade was playing spades on vacation with Wade, Gabrielle Union and Carmelo Anthony in Paris when he learned of his trade last summer to the Wolves. Butler and Wade were also toasting wine and singing karaoke together in Ibiza just last month, so the former may have warmed to all that South Beach has to offer in recent years.
Still, it’s weird to see Butler request a trade to the one team whose jersey he once said he would never wear. As McFly might say, “Whoa, this is heavy, Doc.”
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