Jimmy Butler is insisting that his new Heat teammates follow his intense work ethic, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. In the week before camp opened, Butler set up early-morning workouts to prepare for this season. In Butler’s case, early meant 4 am.
“I got here at about 6:05 one morning, and Jimmy’s in a full sweat, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Damn, I thought I was going to be the first guy working out,’” Meyers Leonard said. “I was with a couple of the young guys. That’s impressive to me. That’s a superstar and a guy you can count on and is clearly ready to put the work in and carry the load.”
That’s the type of extreme leadership that caused the Heat to make Butler the centerpiece of their offseason plans. Not only does he have his younger teammates in the gym before sunrise, he’s constantly challenging them to get better, particularly first-round pick Tyler Herro.
“He just wants to win,” Herro said. “He’s not a bad guy like everyone thinks he is. He’s a really good teammate. For him to take me under his wing early on just means a lot to me. He’s a really good guy.”
There’s more Heat news to pass along:
- Veteran forward James Johnson won’t be permitted to participate in the start of camp because he failed to meet conditioning requirements, Jackson tweets. Johnson has a $242K likely bonus built into his contract regarding body fat percentage and weight requirements that he has met the last two years, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).
- Even though he has barely played the past three seasons, 39-year-old Udonis Haslem wasn’t ready to retire, relays Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Haslem told reporters it would have bothered him that the Heat missed the playoffs in his final season. “These guys can come back another season and say, ‘OK, we didn’t reach our potential. Let’s try it again.’ I’ve got to live with it,” Haslem said. “I’ve got to sleep every night knowing I had a great 17-year career, but my last year we didn’t make the playoffs, my last year we didn’t reach our goals, my last year, we didn’t reach our potential, my last year, Dion [Waiters] wasn’t the best he could be, my last year, Justise [Winslow] wasn’t the best. I have to live with it.” Haslem added that he hasn’t decided if this will be his final season.
- Personnel changes mean Johnson and Waiters will have to adjust to being complementary players this year, Winderman states in a mailbag column.