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Jimmy Butler responds to question about eyebrow-raising exchange with Joel Embiid

Heat

It didn’t take long for Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler to be asked about his social media exchange with former teammate Joel Embiid, a player he’s clearly taken a liking for since teaming up with him last season.

Embiid posted a cryptic Batman quote from the movie The Dark Knight, addressing the many rumors about his play and whether the Philadelphia 76ers should consider potentially trading him at some point.

“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” Embiid captioned his Instagram photo.

Butler was quick to respond:

“I know a place where villains are welcome,” he said.

Embiid soon after replied:

“Damn right my brother.”

Asked to follow-up on this exchange, Butler had a simple response:

“Bad guys rule! Ain’t that right?!,” he said after the Heat held off the Golden State Warriors 113-101 on Monday, according to Ethan Strauss of The Athletic.

Butler has been villainized during the latter part of his stint with the Chicago Bulls for his demanding nature with younger players. That reputation followed him to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he was traded during a draft-night move.

The same occurred a year-and-change later when he was dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers, as many ignored a key part of Butler’s dilemma — he played for winning teams.

Embiid is also playing for a winning team, but one that has greatly underperformed, considering the pieces in the roster. It took for the Sixers to be 50 games in for his name to float as a potential trade candidate if the Sixers don’t figure it out soon enough.

Butler has found his basketball nirvana in South Beach, playing for a team whose culture is just as demanding as he is of himself and of his teammates. Maybe Embiid needs a new environment too, and if he does, he’s a call away from Butler’s house of villains, where he will surely be accepted.