Jimmy Butler and Nikola Jokic will lead the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets into the NBA Finals this week.
In addition to being inarguably the best players from the 2023 NBA Playoffs, they also share some colorful history.
Last season the pair was involved in something of a mini-melee that resulted in Jokic getting suspended.
It also led to this now-infamous picture of the Heat’s players getting ready to go throw down with the Nuggets in the back.
Heat players were waiting in the hall for Nuggets players last night pic.twitter.com/UdInJbi0nr
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) November 9, 2021
In the aftermath, a lot of threats were exchanged. Jokic’s brothers threatened to do some pretty unsavory things to Butler. Udonis Haslem, in turn, had some harsh words for the Jokic brothers. It was a whole thing.
So how does Butler feel about the Jokic situation heading into the Finals? He seems to be fine with it, apparently.
“I don’t think so,” Butler replied when asked if his past run-in with the Nuggets will influence the Finals in any capacity.
“There’s a lot of stuff about that situation people don’t understand, but that’s in the past,” Butler continued.
“I wasn’t talking to Jokic … that wasn’t my beef. The individual I was talking to knows who I was talking to.”
Impressive stuff from the Tennessee Titans. https://t.co/UcMxtcHXrx
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 1, 2023
Butler never clarified who he was actually talking to, but if it wasn’t Jokic, it’s hard to think of an alternative name. Aaron Gordon, maybe?
Seeing as Jokic’s hard foul on Markieff Morris is what popped everything off, it’s easy to see why some folks would be confused by Butler’s recent statement.
Nevertheless, Butler seems to be over whatever issues may or may not have existed between him and Jokic. Which one of them will ultimately prevail in the NBA Finals this year? An answer one way or the other will emerge over the next couple of weeks.