‘Miami Jordan’ Butler, is it a success story of external recruitment?
Founded in 1988, the Miami Heat is not a team with a long history. It cannot be said that 35 years is short, but there are not a few teams with a history more than twice that, so if you simply consider the depth of time, it belongs to the shallow side. However, the Heat are not envious of quite a few teams. Although the history may not be long, it is because they are making records comparable to those of the self-proclaimed prestigious team.
Over the course of 35 years, they have left behind 3 final championships, 6 conference championships, and 16 division championships. It’s not even a dynasty, but there aren’t many teams that have been as consistent as this. Compare that to the Los Angeles Clippers, who have won only two division titles since they were founded in 1970, and you might feel the difference.
In the meantime, Miami has had three revivals, but the impact of successful outside recruitment was greater than franchise stars. The first revival period was from the mid to late 1990s. Tim Hardaway (56‧183cm), who was called the magician of dribbling, and Alonzo Mourning (53‧208cm), one of the best undersized big men of all time, were at the center. Even though not only the two, but also many of the key players were recruited from various teams, they boasted a solid organizational power, and their fighting spirit and toughness were as good as any other team. In the 1996-97 season, the franchise recorded 61 wins and advanced to the conference finals.
The second revival period was centered on ‘Flash’ Dwyane Wade (41‧193cm) and ‘Dinosaur Center’ Shaquille O’Neal (51‧216cm). . Wade (41, 193cm), who was selected with the 5th pick in the 1st round of the 2003 draft, is one of the most loved players in Miami history, even though he did not become a one-club man.
Among fans, he is practically recognized as a franchise star. At the time, while Wade was growing as one of the best technicians in the league, O’Neill, who had entered the end of his heyday, joined and achieved a ‘one-two punch’ and won the first championship in team history in the 2005-06 season finals. O’Neal had good grades during his time with the LA Lakers, but there were many big and small conflicts with the late Kobe Bryant.
On the other hand, he moved to Miami and led the team like a big brother, taking care of his teammates. His talent was excellent, but he also made Wade, who was young and short-lived, a self-confident ace by constantly cheering him up. At that time, Wade’s performance on the final stage was at the level of ‘I couldn’t stop it even if I knew it’, and it is still evaluated as the best ever.
The third revival period is the famous ‘Big 3’ era of LeBron, Wade, and Bosch. In the 2010 off-season, the Miami club exploded a huge nuclear bomb in the free agent market. With Wade in good health, he succeeds in bringing in ‘King’ LeBron James (38‧206cm), who was considered the best player in active life, and Chris Bossy (39‧209cm). Other teams were astonished by the formation of the all-time ‘Big 3’.
More than anything, what scared them was that all three of them got together when they were in their prime, compared to the previous ‘super teams’ that were formed after their prime had declined to some extent. There were also high voices criticizing their actions, such as ‘destroyed the romance of the franchise’ and ‘stars who should compete with each other and create stories became on the same side and reduced the quality of the league’.
In fact, after this time, a trend was created in the league where stars in their heyday would gather and disperse from time to time. In any case, the three of them advanced to the finals for four consecutive years and achieved the feat of winning twice, leaving a record worthy of their name. Miami, which enjoyed its heyday with the power of the Big 3, was disintegrated after LeBron announced his return to his former team, Cleveland, and Bossi was diagnosed with pulmonary thrombosis.
It was with the recruitment of Jimmy Butler (33‧201cm) from the 2019-20 season of “Mr. Old School” that the flames began to flare up again in Miami, which had been quiet. Miami’s vibrant basketball colors worked well with Butler. With Butler at the center, the team became stronger and the young players grew together. From the first season of his joining, Butler made a major accident by advancing to the finals for the first time in six years since the Big 3 era.
It was a moment that could have changed Butler’s career as he led Miami to its fourth championship, but bad news occurred when Goran Dragic suffered a ruptured plantar fasciitis during Game 1. In addition, Snake Adebayo couldn’t run normally due to a shoulder injury, so he couldn’t operate smoothly, and eventually, Butler’s overload overlapped, giving the championship to the LA Lakers led by LeBron.
It is true that expectations have dropped a lot this year. Unlike last season, which took first place in the Eastern Conference in the regular league, this season, it plummeted to 7th place and had to go through a play-in tournament to advance to the playoffs. Even then, he lost 105-116 to the Atlanta Hawks and barely won a single bridge match against the Chicago Bulls, and was able to board the playoff stage in the last train.
Realistically, expecting better results than last season was seen as greed. Moreover, the opponent in the first round was the Milwaukee Bucks, the top seed with the highest overall win rate. In terms of objective power, it seemed difficult for Miami, the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, to capture. However, Miami, with Butler, who is strong in big games such as the playoffs, created a cataclysmic change.크크크벳
On the 27th (Korean time), in the 5th game at the Pi Serve Forum in Wisconsin, USA, after overtime, Milwaukee defeated Milwaukee 128-126 and advanced to the 2nd round with a series record of 4 wins and 1 loss. It was significant in that it was the sixth time in NBA history that the No. 8 seed defeated the No. 1 seed. In Game 4, Butler, who scored 56 points, the most points in Miami history in a single game, played a big role with 42 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists that day.
He boasts formidable firepower, averaging 37.6 points per round. Rumors are circulating that Butler is ‘Jordan’s illegitimate son’ due to his appearance and personality resembling Michael Jordan, but at least his performance in the first round was impressive enough to remind him of Jordan. Miami’s next opponent is the New York Knicks, who came up after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1. Let’s look forward to how far Butler’s crazy performance, which destroyed the championship candidate, will continue.