Former WNBA Star Calls Out Jimmy Butler For Leaving Sixers
The Miami Heat made a belated wish come true this offseason. They landed veteran guard, Jimmy Butler. Last season, while Butler was still out in Minnesota with the Timberwolves, he was pushing hard for a trade that went from behind the scenes, to being gossiped about every single day until he was dealt.
During that time, two teams were publicly pushing hard for Butler. One happened to be the Houston Rockets. The other happened to be the Miami Heat. In the end, the darkhorse candidates ended up landing him. It was the Philadelphia 76ers.
Nobody knew what to expect from Butler on the Sixers. He was an aging veteran, who's best days are behind him. But regardless of whether he was in his prime or not, Butler was still worth the deal in the end because once playoff time rolled around, he put the team on his back. Butler gave it all he got in Philly, and he won over the fan base by doing so.
Sixers fans pushed hard for a 'run it back' situation, and the team was on board with making it happen. The Sixers front office was ready to offer Butler his desired five-year max contract, but the veteran guard had other plans. So the 76ers would sign Butler to the max, but it wasn't for them. Rather, it was for the Miami Heat.
It seemed as though Jimmy Butler was ready to run it back, but it didn't matter in the end. He wanted to be in Miami, where he's the focal point of the team. Many understand his situation, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it comes off as the logical choice. Just ask former WNBA star, Lisa Leslie. She will tell you that Butler's move was "kind of a loser" one.
"I'm just going to be honest. My opinion: a very selfish move for him to leave a team, when you talk about the 76ers, who possibly had an ability to go and win, especially in the Eastern Conference."
Butler and the Sixers had unfinished business within the Eastern Conference. After going seven games with the eventual NBA Champions, it was clear the Sixers were built to last. A full offseason with a rather identical team as last years could benefit them greatly. Unfortunately, Butler will be one of a few guys who won't be back in the mix in Philly. Instead, he will be the enemy in 2019-2020, as Butler becomes an Eastern Conference rival.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN. You can follow Justin on Twitter: @JGrasso_