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‘Keep your mouth shut’: Heat president slams Jimmy Butler as trade speculation swirls



Pat Riley was not amused by Jimmy Butler’s recent assertion that the Heat would have beaten the Celtics or the Knicks in the NBA playoffs had he been healthy.

The Heat lost the first-round series in five games — beaten handily in the four defeats — and Riley, the team’s president, was not in a laughing mood about the star’s comments during a press conference.

“For him to say that, I thought, is that Jimmy trolling or is that Jimmy [being] serious?” Riley asked.

“If you’re not on the court, playing against Boston, or you’re not on the court playing against the New York Knicks, you should keep your mouth shut in your criticism of those teams.”

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Butler missed the Celtics series with an MCL injury suffered in Miami’s play-in loss to the 76ers.

Butler’s comments went viral over the weekend.

“If I was playing, Boston would be at home, New York damn sure would be f–king at home. Josh Hart? C’mon man,” he said in a social media video.

Butler also said he loved Tom Thibodeau but wants to “beat [him] to a pulp,” a phrase Thibodeau used back at him in response on Sunday.

While Riley initially said that Butler would not be traded this offseason — with rumours trickling out after the Heat were eliminated — he left the door open a smidge.

“There’s a possibility that a lot of things are on the table,” Riley said.

The Heat reached the NBA Finals last season, but could not mount a similar run out of the NBA play-in tournament this year.

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Riley was asked if the 34-year-old Butler is still a top-tier player.

“Yes. But just like anyone else, he may need to make some changes in his overload routine,” Riley answered.

Butler also missed 22 games during the regular season, and it was clear based on the tenor of Riley’s press conference that he believed Butler could have competed some more.

“If he requests [an extension[ we can either accept or we can say ‘we’re gonna think about it,” Riley said.

“That’s a big decision on our part, to commit those kinds of resources, unless you’re somebody who’s going to be there every time.”

This article first appeared on The New York Postand was reproduced with permission.

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