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What did the Heat’s Jimmy Butler say about the fight with the Denver Nuggets last season?

The Heat star downplayed the importance of the past spat between the teams, preferring instead to view it as water under the bridge and not the present.

The Heat star downplayed the importance of the past spat between the teams, preferring instead to view it as water under the bridge and not the present.

As we approach tip off tonight in the 2023 NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat, some may not remember that just a season ago a bitter fight occurred between the two teams. Indeed, one that led to threats and suspensions. The question is, how will that play into the series we’re about to watch?

The Heat & the Nuggets had it out.

With Game 1 of the NBA Finals tipping off tonight, much of the focus will be on the current players to watch, Nikola Jokic’s sensational run up to this point and of course the manner in which the Miami Heat, dramatically closed out their 7-game thriller with the Boston Celtics. What will likely not be focused on, however, is the conflict that occurred when the teams clashed last season. Indeed, from Nikola Jokic’s eventual suspension to Jimmy Butler screaming at Denver’s bench to “bring that s--- to the back,” there were quite a few moments to remember that night, not the least of which was that infamous image of Heat players waiting outside Denver’s locker room after the game.

In terms of what actually happened, the situation in question occurred last season back in November. It was late in the fourth quarter, when Heat forward Markieff Morris aggressively fouled Jokic at halfcourt with an elbow to the side. The two-time MVP didn’t like it one bit and proceeded to deck Morris with a shoulder barge from behind. At that point, mayhem ensued and the rest is history. So, having reviewed the past, let’s come back to the present and the comments of Miami Heat star, Jimmy Butler.

What did Jimmy Butler say about the altercation with the Nuggets?

Following the altercation last year, one can imagine that it was essentially all anyone could talk about. Even Morris’ brother, Marcus Morris, got involved which then in turn saw Jokic’s brothers doing so as well in what became a verbal back and forth on Twitter. Yet, to hear Butler tell it during the 2023 NBA Finals’ media day, that’s all in the past now.

“I don’t think so. I think there’s a lot of, like, stuff about the whole situation that people don’t understand, and I’ll let that stay back there,” Butler said. “But I don’t think it has too much to do with anything, this thing in the past. It’s high-level competition. But I will say I wasn’t talking to Jokic. That wasn’t my beef. Make sure you write that. The individual who I was talking to definitely knew who I was talking to.” It’s worth remembering here the full context of the scenario. Jokic was immediately ejected for his actions and later suspended as well as fined $25k. For inciting the altercation, Morris was also ejected and handed a $50k fine. Then there was Butler himself who was fined $30k for “attempting to escalate the altercation.”

Have the Heat & Nuggets buried the hatchet?

Though we don’t believe the players have forgotten what happened, we can at least go on what was said by some of them following the incident. Jokic for example spoke openly about feeling bad and knowing that he should not have acted in such a way. Then there are Butler’s above-mentioned comments, which seem to indicate that he too has moved on from what happened. At any rate, it does add to the already interesting context of what’s sure to be an exciting series. Now, all we can do is sit back and enjoy it.