‘Overlooked’: Former NBA Champion Explains How Jimmy Butler Embodies Kobe Bryant’s Style

Published 05/13/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
Feb 18, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) shakes hands with guard Duncan Robinson (55) and forward Andre Iguodala (28) during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports


Miami Heat are 10-3 in their last 13 games and as a reward for that dominance, they’ve clinched the playoff berth. It is still a close EC battle for that #4 seeding, but the Heat seem to have the strongest case. The man of the hour for the Heat is none other than their angry leader Jimmy Butler, who is utilizing his learnings from Kobe Bryant.

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The star has been in exceptional form ever since the Orlando Bubble, and he has continued that in the current season. So what’s the secret behind Jimmy’s never-say-die attitude?

NBA analysts compared Jimmy Butler to Kobe Bryant

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Jimmy Butler, an all-time admirer, and endorser of the Mamba Mentality is channeling that art almost perfectly. In this particular season, Jimmy has missed 18 games to injuries but nothing that could deter him from his goals. Every time he came back, the Heat became too much to handle for most teams. 

In a recent interview, veteran NBA writer Marc Spears agreed with the narrative and expressed, “I asked him about all the three superstars going into the Hall of Fame… he loved all three of them, but especially he has been inspired by Kobe, his Mamba mentality, how hard he plays every game and his will go win, which we saw in Jimmy certainly in the bubble.”

Kobe Bryant during a practice scrimmage in at the University of Hawaii- Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii, Friday, Oct. 7, 2005. (Photo by Robert Kratzke/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

But even with all the efforts and wins for his team, G Buckets seldom receives the amount of attention as other stars do. Throwing light on this fact, former champion Kendrick Perkins added, “He gets overlooked a lot of times. Even looking at this season… he leads the league in steals, he doesn’t take possessions off. The Heat are below average team. They’re 32-19 with Jimmy, he brings every single possession. When I think of guys with the Mamba mentality, I need to look at the guys and watch them play every possession, not every minute, every second. Jimmy falls in that category.”

Read AlsoHeat Star Jimmy Butler Just Wants Team to Reach Playoffs, Says He’ll ‘Handle the Rest’

How tough are the Heat?

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The Heat, who started the season slow, are now spearheading at a strong speed. They have their DPOY candidate in Bam Adebayo averaging a career-high 18.9 points with 8.9 boards, 5.3 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1 block.

Plus, Duncan Robinson has continued his efficient shooting (41% from the perimeter) and is playing as good as his last season. More importantly, in the absence of Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn has performed equally well, making himself a key starter for the Heat this season. 

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So, now that Tyler is back and they have a consistently performing asset in Goran Dragic coming off the bench, the Heat can again be a stunner. Coach Erik Spoelstra also adds that extra edge into the squad that does not know quitting.

Is Jimmy’s “I don’t care what people say about me” attitude helping the team become relentless? Help us know your views in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1636 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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