‘I’m Not for Everybody’: Jimmy Butler on Evolving with the Miami Heat

You recently secured your 10th triple-double in Miami, breaking LeBron James’s franchise record. How has your overall game evolved in Miami these last couple seasons?

I think it speaks more to the individuals that I get to pass the ball to, because those are the guys that give me my assists — the guys that pitch the ball ahead for me, or give me open looks or set a great screen for me to attack downhill. That’s where a lot of my points come from, and then crashing the glass, getting on the offensive boards, my bigs boxing out. Whenever they’re down there battling, I get to come over to the top and get the rebound.

So, all of these triple-doubles, they definitely come from my teammates, them allowing me to do it. But more than anything, as long as they’re geared toward winning, I can care less if I pass [James’s record] or not. There’s one thing that I haven’t passed him in yet, and that’s the amount of championships he brought to this organization.

You’d rather have a game-winning assist than a game-winning shot, correct?

Yeah. I’m not a scorer anymore. I’m more of a facilitating guard, and I like it that way. I love it that way, because we got a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket, so I let them shine, and I just rack up assists.

At what moment does a teammate earn that trust, that in your head you know that you can give him the ball when it matters most?

I think it is built over time, but you see how many extra passes we make, not just from me to somebody else, but from somebody else to somebody else, to somebody else that they know, if you’re open, you’re going to get the ball. So it’s trust all the way around the board, all the way around the locker room, all the way around the floor — knowing if you’re open, somehow, some way, the ball will find its way to you.

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