Jimmy Butler is one of the most polarizing players in the NBA. He is loved by his fans and teammates, but hated by his opponents and critics. He is a fierce competitor, a relentless worker, and a vocal leader. He is also a master troll, a witty trash-talker, and a confident champion. He is not afraid to challenge anyone, whether it’s his own coach, his former team, or the media.
Butler has proven himself as one of the best players in the league, leading the Miami Heat to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2014. He has done so against all odds, as the Heat were a Play-In team that had to overcome injuries, COVID-19 protocols, and tough opponents. He has also done so with style, wearing a unique t-shirt that has become a symbol of his attitude and ambition.
Before Game 1 of the NBA Finals 2023 against the Denver Nuggets, Butler arrived at the arena wearing a black t-shirt with white letters. On the front, it said “Take us there”. On the back, it said “Four more”.
The t-shirt was a clear message to his team and the world: he wanted to win four more games to complete their historic season and bring home the championship trophy. It was also a subtle jab at the Nuggets, who had won four straight games in each of their previous series after being down 3-1.
The t-shirt was not a random choice. It was designed by Butler himself, who owns a clothing line called Big Face Coffee. He had been wearing different versions of the t-shirt throughout the playoffs, with different numbers on the back depending on how many wins they needed.
The t-shirt was also a reflection of Butler’s personality and mindset. He is a fearless leader who believes in himself and his team. He is a playful troll who likes to have fun and mess with his opponents. He is a confident champion who knows what it takes to win at the highest level.
Butler’s journey from the Play-In to the NBA Finals 2023 was not easy. It was full of obstacles, challenges, and surprises.
The Heat started the season with high expectations after reaching the NBA Finals 2020 in the Orlando bubble. However, they struggled to find their rhythm and consistency due to injuries, COVID-19 protocols, and roster changes. They finished the regular season with a 37-35 record, barely making it to the Play-In tournament as the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference.
In the Play-In tournament, they faced the 7th seed Boston Celtics, who had eliminated them in the Eastern Conference Finals 2020. The Heat pulled off an upset win behind Butler’s 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists. They then advanced to face the 2nd seed Brooklyn Nets, who had formed a superteam with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.
The Nets were heavily favored to win the series and the title, but the Heat had other plans. They stunned the Nets in Game 1 with a 109-107 victory on Butler’s game-winning layup with 0.4 seconds left. They then proceeded to win three more games in a row, sweeping the Nets in four games. Butler averaged 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in the series.
The Heat then faced the 3rd seed Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bucks were another formidable opponent who had added Jrue Holiday and P.J. Tucker to their core of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. The Heat had eliminated them in five games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals 2020.
The Bucks were determined to get revenge on the Heat, but they were no match for Butler and his crew. The Heat won Game 1 in overtime with a clutch three-pointer by Duncan Robinson. They then dominated Game 2 with a 132-98 blowout win. They faced some resistance in Game 3 as Antetokounmpo scored 40 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, but they still prevailed with a 115-111 win thanks to Butler’s triple-double of 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. They completed another sweep in Game 4 with a 106-94 win behind Butler’s 27 points.
The Heat became the first team in NBA history to reach the NBA Finals after being a Play-In team. They also became the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001 to sweep two consecutive series in one postseason.
The Heat then faced the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals 2023. The Nuggets were another Cinderella story who had overcome two consecutive 3-1 deficits against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers in their previous series. They had also defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games in the Western Conference Finals behind Nikola Jokic’s MVP performance.
The Nuggets were hoping to continue their magical run against the Heat, but they were met with resistance from Butler and his squad. The Heat won Game 1 with a narrow margin of 101-99 on Butler’s game-winning free throw with 0.9 seconds left. They then took control of Game 2 with a convincing 113-95 win behind Butler’s near-triple-double of 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. They faced some adversity in Game 3 as Jokic scored 41 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, but they still managed to win with a score of 108-104 thanks to Butler’s clutch performance of 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. They completed their historic sweep in Game 4 with a thrilling 116-114 win on Butler’s game-saving block on Jamal Murray’s three-point attempt at the buzzer.
Butler averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists in the series, earning him the Finals MVP award. He became the first player since LeBron James in 2016 to lead his team to an NBA title after being down 3-1 in a series. He also became the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 to sweep two consecutive series in one postseason.
Butler’s legacy as one of the best players in the NBA was cemented by his remarkable run from the Play-In to the NBA Finals 2023. He proved himself as a leader, a troll, and a champion who could overcome any obstacle, challenge, or surprise.
He also inspired millions of fans around the world with his attitude and ambition. His “Take Us There Four More” shirt became a viral sensation that symbolized his determination and confidence. He showed that anything is possible if you work hard, believe in yourself, and have fun along the way.
Jimmy Butler is not just a basketball player. He is a legend.