NBA Rumors: WNBA Legend Says Jimmy Butler’s Decision To Join Heat Was ‘Kind Of A Loser Move’

Jimmy Butler of the Philadelphia 76ers smiles during a game against the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019 NBA playoffs.
Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

When Jimmy Butler was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers early in the 2018-19 season, he went from the Minnesota Timberwolves — a team that ultimately went on to miss the playoffs — to a team that made it to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Currently, the Sixers are a team that could also have a chance of fighting for the conference championship in 2019-20, now that former Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. And with Butler now with the Miami Heat thanks to a four-team sign-and-trade deal that was finalized earlier this month, not everyone supports his decision to join a team that hasn’t had as much success as the Sixers in recent seasons.

In a recent episode of CBS Sports Network’s all-female sports talk show WNTT, WNBA icon Lisa Leslie commented on Butler’s move to Miami in light of the Sixers’ status as a top Eastern Conference contender in the coming 2019-20 NBA season. As seen in this brief clip shared by the network’s official Twitter account, the former Los Angeles Sparks superstar called Butler’s decision “very selfish” and suggested that the 29-year-old wingman chose to leave Philadelphia because he “really wanted” to be the top star on his team.

In closing, Leslie opined that it was “kind of a loser move” for Jimmy Butler to opt against re-signing with the Philadelphia 76ers and join the Miami Heat as a free agent.

As recalled by Heat Nation, Butler’s apparent discontentment with the Minnesota Timberwolves led to the decision to trade him to the 76ers just a few games into the 2018-19 season. A four-time All-Star who had also previously played for the Chicago Bulls, Butler saw his numbers decline slightly after joining the Sixers, but still averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, four assists and 1.8 steals in 55 regular-season games playing for Philadelphia.

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After helping the Sixers finish third in the Eastern Conference last season, Butler continued playing a key role for his new team, as they came very close to defeating the eventual NBA champion, Toronto Raptors, in this year’s Eastern Conference semifinals but ended up losing the tight seven-game series. Heat Nation noted that Butler was considered to be the Sixers’ “designated go-to guy” in the clutch when it came to their recent playoff run.

While the 76ers have a number of current and former All-Stars on their roster, including Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and the recently acquired Al Horford, the Heat, at the present, do not have anyone who played in the 2019 All-Star Game. However, Miami big man Bam Adebayo recently remarked that Butler is a “good fit” on a mostly youthful Heat lineup, adding that he and his teammates could potentially benefit from his intensity in practice and his desire to win games, as noted in a previous Heat Nation report.