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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra reflects on the ‘most amazing recruiting visit’ of Jimmy Butler

Erik Spoelstra, Jimmy Butler, Heat

Shortly after the Miami Heat barged their way to the NBA Finals on Sunday, head coach Erik Spoelstra couldn’t help but recall the most important free agent meeting he had over the summer that made their latest achievement possible.

The Asian-American coach happily reminisced about the time he sat down with Jimmy Butler, during which they casually sat down and discussed their goals. A few months later, coach Spo and Butler defied all odds and led the Heat to their first Finals berth since 2013.

Jimmy Butler’s under-the-radar signing with the Heat last offseason was truly a match made in heaven for both sides. The five-time All-Star is a gritty player who will do everything in his power to win, while the Miami franchise already has an established culture of grace and success.

As good as a player Butler is, not a lot of teams prioritized him in free agency mostly due to the notorious reputation he developed over the course of his career. Under Spoelstra’s guidance with the Heat, Butler looked like he found the team where he truly belongs.

Jimmy Buckets was once again instrumental in Miami’s closeout game versus the Boston Celtics on Sunday, contributing 22 points, eight assists, two rebounds and one steal in 39 minutes of play in Game 6.

While his fellow All-Star Bam Adebayo shouldered the scoring load during a spirited fourth-quarter run, it was Butler’s reassuring presence at both ends that closed the door for the Celtics for good.

Butler, meanwhile, acknowledged after the match that signing with the Heat was the best decision he has ever made in his career.

As amazing as Butler and the Heat have been inside the bubble, they understand that the job is not yet done. Butler will once again be crucial for Miami’s chances of upsetting the mighty Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals.