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Jimmy Butler was more than ready for the start of training camp on Tuesday morning.
So much so, in fact, that Butler showed up to the gym at Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the first of the Miami Heat’s training camp two-a-days at 3:30 a.m. — when the majority of Americans were still sound asleep, and rightfully so.
“Just a little extra work while y’all in your third dream. I like to get it in,” Butler said, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “How did I get in today? I clocked in at 3:30. You’re asleep, right?”
Butler signed a four-year, $141 million deal with the Heat this summer in free agency. He said last week that it was the culture surrounding the organization that drew him to South Florida, that he needed it in his life.
Clearly he’s embraced that fully, and just couldn’t wait any longer on Tuesday morning.
“I just want to compete,” Butler said, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I just want to hoop. All the training is cool, but I want to get out there with my guys, talk a little bit.
“But more than anything, just compete. I think that’s why we do what we do over the summer. For real, it’s loading up for this. I think today was a good start.”
The 30-year-old averaged 18.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season, the majority of which he spent with the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s now undoubtedly one of the most experienced players on Miami’s roster, joining Udonis Haslem and Goran Dragic in leading what is otherwise a fairly young locker room.
While it’s still early — the Heat don’t officially open the season until they host the Memphis Grizzlies on October 23 — coach Erik Spoelstra said he’s already seen Butler’s incredible drive rubbing off.
“The thing that also is notable about that is he has a Hall of Fame work ethic,” Spoelstra said, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “That’s not something of myth. That’s something that’s well earned and it’s real. I think he also respects that he’s walking into a gym where there’s several guys that are right there with him, step for step in terms of worth ethic.
“They may not be coming in at crazy hours like he comes in, but they're putting in time and putting in a lot of extra time.”
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