Pat Riley Comes Out Firing For The Heat, Tells Jimmy Butler To Shut His Mouth & Labels Tyler Herro “Fragile”

Pat Riley

Miami Heat president and all-time elite coach Pat Riley apparently took some issue with Jimmy Butler’s viral video in which he said the Knicks and Celtics would be eliminated if he were healthy for the playoffs.

In a rather testy state of the union on Monday, Riley took the podium for an end-of-season presser, and didn’t exactly quell any of the speculation that Butler could be taking his talents away from South Beach.

Butler sprained his MCL before the Heat’s series against Boston, in a play-in loss to the 76ers. Injuries have been a big source of frustration during this #HEATCulture run in which they’ve reached three Conference Finals and two NBA Finals in a span of five years. The big bummer is that Butler and Miami’s brightest young star, Tyler Herro, can’t seem to share the court often enough to get the Heat over the hump.

After a 2022-23 campaign in which he missed a career-low 15 regular-season contests, only to get injured in Game 1 of Miami’s opening-round series against the Bucks, Herro only appeared in 42 of a possible 82 games prior to the playoffs this season. That led Riley to slap Herro with the “fragile” label.

Some cheeky graphic designer will no doubt make some sort of “Handle With Care” joke at Herro’s expense.

You can see that Riley gives a lot of caveats to Herro’s situation. At least the work ethic is there as far as working on his game on the court. Now, it may be a question of whether or not the 24-year-old can be disciplined in other areas to maximize his potential as he approaches his prime.

Meanwhile, Butler turns 35 in September and is eligible for a contract extension this summer. It’s not as if Miami would necessarily “sell high” on him by trading Jimmy Buckets to the highest bidder. There just may not be a lot of viable deals to swing. The Heat are the only team Butler has truly fit with in his NBA career. He’s worn out his welcome and burned bridges everywhere else. I personally think he’s great for basketball and is the rare case of somebody who’s actually misunderstood because of how freaking competitive he is. Time is running out to win a championship. Miami has been reasonably close. If an appealing trade package rolls through for Butler, and they do right by him by sending him to a good situation, it could be a win-win for both parties.

I wouldn’t mind seeing the Heat keep developing their younger talent, and running it back with Butler for at least one more year. Feels like nobody else in the East is one Jimmy Buckets away from being a real threat to the Celtics.

Speaking of Butler flaming out elsewhere, there’s never a bad time to revisit him discussing his brief stint in Philly. He hated Brett Brown, was alienated by how the organization treated him, and the Sixers wound up keeping Ben Simmons. Look where they are now. Please enjoy one of my favorite sports interview clips ever. It’ll help you power through to the night if you’re having a case of the Mondays.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock