After the Heat punched their ticket to the NBA Finals following the team’s Game 7 victory against the Celtics, Jimmy Butler was seen turning down the opportunity to hold the Eastern Conference finals trophy.
Miami center Bam Adebayo offered Butler the trophy amid the team’s celebration, but the star forward and series MVP declined to hold it, saying, “I’ll take the next one.”
During a recent sitdown with Malika Andrews of ESPN, the 33-year-old explained his decision.
“That’s how I view it... I’m very grateful to be able to win the Eastern Conference. I’ve done that before. I have. I want to win an NBA championship. That’s the reason why they put this squad together,” said Butler. “I don’t play for the Eastern Conference finals MVP. I won’t play for the Finals MVP, could care less. I play for Mr. O’Brien.”
Why didn’t Jimmy Butler want to hold the Eastern Conference Finals trophy?— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 1, 2023
“I play for Mr. O’Brien… You can take the All-Stars… You can take the All-NBA. All defensive team, don’t care. I really only want to win a championship.” pic.twitter.com/wu6fOERIOW
Butler was adamant that there’s only one prize he’s honed in on, and that’s the Larry O’Brien Trophy and an NBA title.
After being named Eastern Conference finals MVP, Butler already has some hardware to take home with him from Miami’s playoff run. Of that award, Butler revealed that he’d already given the trophy to his father.
“Every time I play basketball, the end goal, the end I result that I want it to be, is the championship trophy. That’s it... I really only want to win a championship,” said Butler.
He’ll have a chance to do just that with Game 1 set for Thursday, June 1.