Jimmy Butler professed his love for Joel Embiid — then mocked Tobias Harris — after beating Sixers
After ending his former team's season, the Heat star reminded Philly fans what might've been.
Immediately following his team winning a big Game 6 and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals past the 76ers, former Sixer and current Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler was asked about his postgame message for his ex-teammate and friend Joel Embiid.
“I’m proud of him. I love him,” Butler said on the ESPN broadcast. “Yes, yes, yes, I still wish I was on his team. I do love the Miami Heat though. I’m glad that I’m here. But I’ve got so much respect and love for Joel Embiid.”
That has to sting for Philly fans, not only because they just watched Butler lead his team to the conference finals, a round the Sixers haven’t advanced to in over 20 years, but also because by all accounts they could’ve had him.
Butler was a part of the Sixers for 55 games during the 2018-19 season following a trade from the Timberwolves. That season ended with the Sixers losing to the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors, on Kawhi Leonard’s four-bounce buzzer-beater in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. That, arguably, was the closest to a championship team the Sixers have had since Allen Iverson was running the show in South Philly.
Following the season, however, things unraveled between Butler and the Sixers, with the team ultimately completing a sign-and-trade with the Heat for Butler while giving both Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris max contracts.
Butler, apparently, has not forgotten.
On his way into the locker room after Game 6, the six-time NBA All-Star was caught on camera delivering a pretty strong message to his former team: “Tobias Harris over me?”
That, coupled with recent reporting from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, can only leave Sixers fans wondering what might have been after Butler averaged 27.5 points and dominated Philly for the better part of six games.
Now, after beating his team, Butler is out professing his love for and desire to play with the MVP runner-up on national television? Turn the knife a little more, Jimmy.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Joel Embiid seemed to lament the decision as well, saying during his postgame press conference that he still doesn’t know how the Sixers let Butler get away.