Yahoo Sports NBA writer Vince Goodwill is joined by NBC Sports Chicago’s Jason Goff on the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast to discuss Miami Heat SF Jimmy Butler, the legacy he will leave, and if his style of play in the playoffs is sustainable enough to carry a team to a championship. Hear the full conversation on the Ball Don’t Lie podcast network -- and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
- JASON GOFF: Jimmy Butler is one of those dudes who I hope doesn't get lost in common NBA conversation because, post-Jordan, all we've done is, did you win a ring, or, how great were you? Did you get to the Finals MVP? I remember, as a kid, being able to talk about-- with my dad and his friends-- Bernard King and Adrian Dantley and cats like that, who-- yeah, they may have never been the best player in the league. But please believe they was going to give you everything you wanted-- all the while not being on the center stage for you to enjoy it as a national fan would. Jimmy Butler has always been a hard worker. And I think, sometimes, Jimmy has armored himself with his hard work--
VINCENT GOODWILL: Absolutely.
JASON GOFF: --in order to alienate the people around him. I think Jimmy has found out that not everybody can or does work as hard as you do. There's different hundred percents.
VINCENT GOODWILL: There's levels-- there's levels to this, man.
JASON GOFF: It's different. And he goes to Miami where they all speak the same language, and they all do the same thing. And the issue that I have-- and maybe the issue that we'll talk about when his career is over-- the problem is Jimmy Butler teams have always counted on Jimmy Butler too much.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Yeah.
JASON GOFF: And when he hasn't been the guy that has needed to be counted on, he's worked his way out of those situations, whether it be Philadelphia or Minnesota-- Minnesota, understandably so. Philadelphia-- it's like, man, can you imagine if that thing was able to stay together--
VINCENT GOODWILL: That was perfect.
JASON GOFF: --what we would've been?
VINCENT GOODWILL: That was perfect for [? them. ?]
JASON GOFF: Then Simmons careers goes in a different direction. Tobias-- well, shout-out to Tobias because, throughout all this, Tobias been like, hey, I'mma cash these checks. Y'all can say what y'all want.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Bag all-star, baby. Bag Hall of Fame.
JASON GOFF: Right?
VINCENT GOODWILL: Bag franchise player, baby.
JASON GOFF: I hope Jimmy's career is appreciated the way it should be in the end. I may have had some disagreements with the way he's handled things the different spots and the way he's handled people who have been loyal to him and entrusted him with their fate. But you can't say anything bad about what Jimmy Butler has done.
Now, the problem is-- we're going to get to that part that I always come to-- you're counting on Jimmy Butler too much. At some point, Jimmy Butler is going to Jimmy Butler his way into injury or fatigue because of how he plays, and who you're going to lean on? All right, so whoever comes out in this Heat series--
VINCENT GOODWILL: And this is on the heels of getting hurt in game one, with that ankle--
JASON GOFF: Right.
VINCENT GOODWILL: And it looked bad. And of course, Jimmy, being the hard ass that he is, was going to continue to play. He wasn't going to pull himself out-- you know what I mean? He wasn't going to pull himself out the game.
Miami-- regardless of what happens in this series-- like other teams that we know, Jason-- have some soul searching to do, after this. They can go to the Conference Finals. They can go back to a game 7 against Boston or Philly and come within a 3-point shot short of the finals. And still, Pat Riley will know that he has significant work to do to maximize what's left of Jimmy Butler's [INAUDIBLE].