NBA rumors: Jimmy Butler, Heat coaches had 'testy' moments

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Butler, Heat coaches reportedly had 'testy' interaction originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Folks, you're never going to guess: former Sixers guy and current Philadelphia nemesis Jimmy Butler is at it again.

Miami's legendarily brusque superstar is leading the Heat into the playoffs as the No. 6 seed, where they'll try to stitch together a second straight improbable run to the Finals.

But it sounds like Miami's path to the postseason, which was already made bumpy by an uneven season battered by COVID-19-related absences and other health issues, has been a little rocky thanks to Butler's notorious attitude.

That's according to NBA insider Shams Charania, who on Friday dropped a little nugget about some contentious goings-on behind closed doors down in Heatland:

"I'm told there has been very, very testy moments behind the scenes between Jimmy, that coaching staff, the roster at different points."

Hmmm. Where have we heard this before?

Maybe... every place he's ever played basketball? Including Philly?

You might remember that, during the lead-up to the Sixers' heartbreaking 2019 postseason run, Butler was a bit of a nightmare in the locker room for then-head coach Brett Brown:

"Butler is reportedly unhappy with his role in the Sixers' offense, according to ESPN. Butler has 'aggressively challenged; Brett Brown and his offensive system, per the report.

"The report mentions a 'disrespectful” film session in Portland and that Butler has spoken with both Brown and GM Elton Brand privately about the four-time All-Star’s fit."

Butler also bullied Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, and went off in an infamous practice against the Timberwolves' starters. This is who he is; Charania's report shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. 

Except that Butler has trumpeted Miami as this perfect culture fit for his own "please look at how hard I work" ethos. If the fit is so perfect, why is Butler suddenly clashing with Erik Spoelstra and his Heat teammates in practice? I know Butler likes to say this kind of friction is by design - iron sharpening iron, blah blah blah - but you probably want to enter the postseason fully on the same page.

The Sixers won't face Butler and the Heat in the playoffs until the Eastern Conference Finals, if they meet at all. If the Heat aren't all on the same page, they probably won't get that far.

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