After years of competing against the Miami Heat and Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love is experiencing firsthand what has made the pairing so successful. Much has been made about the “Heat Culture” that has allowed Miami to reach the NBA Finals for the second time in four years. According to Love, Butler is at the center of it, alongside Udonis Haslem, Pat Riley and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
“Jimmy just absolutely sets the tone,” Kevin Love said on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “You see what Hear Culture is. Everybody's been trying to define it…I think if you look at Coach Riley, Coach Spo, UD, and Jimmy. Those are the guys that really set the tone for us.”
"You have to meet him both feet in"
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) June 4, 2023
Love signed with the Heat during the regular season after being bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers. After playing 21 games with the Heat, Love made contributions during Miami's run to the 2023 NBA Finals. Along the ay, Love learned what makes Butler such a special leader.
“Jimmy, you have to meet him both feet in,” Love said. “You gotta throw yourself in that pool and say, ‘Listen, I'm gonna meet you all the way.' From a competitive standpoint, from a hard-work standpoint. Set the tone early within the games and in his approach…it's an accountability thing. It's a level of professionalism. It's a level of, ‘Ok we're gonna go get this win and win now.'”
Love was removed from the Heat rotation late in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. He didn't play in Miami's Game 1 loss against the Denver Nuggets.