The Miami Heat have lost four of their last seven, and it seems the Eastern Conference-leading team’s disappointing play of late hit a boiling point between superstar Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem, during the Heat’s latest setback last night.
On Wednesday, the Heat dropped a second straight game when they lost to the Golden State Warriors 118-104. Under normal circumstances, losing to an elite Western Conference squad like the Warriors is nothing to feel shameful about. However, the near 20-point defeat at home came against a Golden State team that did not have All-Stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green in the lineup.
Yesterday’s loss came on the heels of the Heat’s recent failings in Philadelphia against a 76ers team sans superstars Joel Embiid and James Harden. It seems the string of surprisingly disappointing play came to a head in the game with the Warriors when 19-year team veteran Haslem and Butler had a heated exchange during a timeout.
Watch as Miami Heats players Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem need to be separated by teammates
In the video above, the 41-year-old can be seen giving his teammates a fiery pep talk as they sat on the bench. However, after a few seconds of being berated by his teammate, the four-time All-Star had enough, stood, and got in the face of Haslem.
- Jimmy Butler stats (2021): 21.2 PPG, 6.0 REB, 5.5 AST
The confrontation led head coach Eric Spoelstra to step between the two to diffuse the situation. Nevertheless, the pair continued to exchange words in an animated fashion and had to be separated by teammates. Following the game, Spoelstra gave his thoughts on the argument and the source of the firey exchange.
“We have bigger things to accomplish,” Spoelstra said [h/t ESPN]. “But we do want to play better. Everything else across the board. It starts with our leadership, our veteran players have to lead and then we just have to play better. We got to play more consistently, and that’s really all the discussions were. I know how it could look on the outside, but as I mentioned before, that is more our language than playing without passion or without toughness or without multiple efforts.”
The Heat return on the NBA games today schedule, to face the New York Knicks, at 8 PM ET.