Against all odds, the Miami Heat have extended their NBA Finals series with the Los Angeles Lakers to a 6th game. Despite missing their center Bam Adebayo for two games and their play-making guard Goran Dragic for all but the first half of Game 1, the Heat keep finding ways to survive. Jimmy Butler, Miami’s unique forward, has been playing close to perfect basketball. He has also become a basketball barista, known to brew and sell his own coffee from the hotel room where he resides inside the NBA’s Orlando bubble. A coffee-based tribute is in order.
Jimmy Butler is not your usual cup of coffee. He is more earthy, harder to procure, and definitely prefers to be imbibed in private.
Jimmy Butler’s beans must be slow-roasted and ground by hand, with an old-fashioned manual grinder, as seen above.
Jimmy Butler leaves defenders in the coffee dust, mushy used grounds, muddy as dirt, waiting to be tossed into the garbage.
Jimmy Butler’s certainty at the free-throw line(46 of 50) in the Finals is the certain pleasure of an early-morning steaming cup of carefully ground, freshly brewed espresso, sipped from a comfortable chair next to a frosty window looking out at a bitterly cold landscape.
Jimmy Butler’s patience with his handle is the patience of an elderly man on a porch swing with nothing on the agenda for weeks, staring out at a sunset over the lake…with a cup of…yes, you guessed it…fine coffee in his hands.
Jimmy Butler’s love of his teammates success is as genuine as the coffee connoisseur's genuine love of the new bean. He scans the defense for the right spot to plant his beans after drying them to perfection. The ball finds the teammate. The teammate — often Duncan Robinson in Game 5 — swishes a difficult three-pointer. The teammate — often Tyler Herro — -feels the trust Butler’s infused in the pass. The plant grows. The teams sips victory again.
Game 6 is Sunday Night, 7:30 ET/4:30 PT.