CJ McCollum makes spot-on comparison between Damian Lillard, Heat star Jimmy Butler
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green are pushing back at the narrative that Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler may be a difficult person to share a locker room with.
Butler was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017, then to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018. He signed with the Heat in 2019 and now seemed to be an ideal fit with the Miami culture.
On Thursday, the morning after Tyler Herro scored 37 points in a Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, Butler showed up to practice in the rookie’s high school jersey (because apparently NBA players, even while bubbled, can just get immediately acquire these types of things).
McCollum shared Butler’s antics on Twitter along with the message, “And they said he was a bad teammate.”
And they said he was a bad teammate 🤣✊🏾 https://t.co/JW28vBsE9l
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) September 24, 2020
Green — who hails from the same school of hard-lined competitiveness as Butler — echoed McCollum’s point.
“They said he was a bad teammate because he wanted to win,” Green tweeted about the Heat leader. “Smh… He found a group that want to win just a bad. He actually made that group want to win as bad as him. Found some Indians that just needed a chief. It’s fun to watch.”
McCollum took the discussion and his praise for Butler a step further, comparing Butler’s leadership approach to that of his Blazers teammate Damian Lillard.
“Everyone doesn’t respond the same when they’re challenged by a teammate! We have no problem challenging guys. The key is to back it up w/ work & allow people to challenge you too. Jimmy does both and he empowers his teammates & lets them flourish. Same thing D does,” CJ McCollum responded to Draymond Green, in reference to Lillard.
Jimmy Butler has undoubtedly set a tremendous example in Miami, leading the fifth-seeded Heat to the verge of the Finals. Overall in the 2020 playoffs, Butler is averaging 20.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists while providing his signature grit, smarts and defense.
for what it’s worth, Butler’s former Sixers teammate, Joel Embiid, has repeatedly lamented his team’s decision to let Butler walk in free agency amid Miami’s surprise postseason run.