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Heat’s Jimmy Butler had an unusual birthday celebration in the bubble

Heat, Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler received a late birthday gift as the Miami Heat took a 2-0 lead over the Boston Celtics in their Eastern Conference Finals series on Thursday night.

He turned 31 years old on Monday and since he didn’t bring his family to Orlando, he celebrated it with his teammates by having his personal chef prepare a gourmet meal ($20 coffees included?). However, according to ESPN’s Mark Jones, there was one guy who hates birthdays: Butler himself.

Perhaps Butler dislikes his birthday because it reminds him of his tough childhood when he was abandoned by his father when he was still an infant and his mother kicked him out when he was just 13 years old. Despite this, the five-time All-Star said he still has a close relationship with his parents.

Still, Butler’s Bubble Birthday goes to show how he has asserted his leadership with the Heat, especially off the hardwood. Many have credited him for improving the team’s culture once he signed during the summer. There’s the infamous story of the former Marquette standout showing up at his first Heat practice at 3:30 am, which eventually inspired others to come in extra early as well.

He’s had a history of bickering with teammates, most famously during his discordant stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves. But Butler, who was named to the All-NBA Third Team this season, has really shown in South Beach that he can get along with other guys.

Despite a poor shooting performance in Game 2, Butler’s fingerprints were all over their 106-101 escape job over the Celtics. He made two key deflections in the fourth quarter, which both led to crucial layups. He finished with 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, and four steals in another hardnosed all-around effort.

After the game, the five-time All-Star told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols: “We like to make it hard on ourselves. We like being down double digits and being the comeback kids.”

The Heat will try to take a commanding 3-0 advantage on Saturday. They are 16-0 in series when leading 2-0.