Jimmy is worth the drama.
That isn't how the coach described the game on Tuesday night. The Miami Heat coach was his usual controlled self after guiding his team to a 118-107 victory over the Boston Celtics and taking a 1-0 lead in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
If you are driven by competition, and the stakes get raised, you will raise your level of play.
He knows that this level is high level and he senses it. He feels it. He was able to put us in a position to win the game.
As the argument spilled onto the court during the game against the Golden State Warriors, he barked at the player, "I always knew you were crazy!"
It has been known for a long time that the person is intense. He needles teammates and coaches with his training. He can be driven to incredible feats by his desire to win.
It was not clear how the crossroads moment would play out in the 48 hours after the incident. That moment can be spun as a great event. The Heat are three wins away from reaching the NBA Finals.
Even some of his closest friends had never seen him like that, not just the emotional outburst in the huddle, but the dark brooding he did for the rest of that quarter, almost stopping coaching as he managed the fury.
Three seasons of give-and-take with Spoelstra finally led to finding the line. It was a long build up to that moment when he shoved back at his coach.
One team source said that Spo was frustrated.
Sources said that even though he likes to create conflict on his team, he wondered if this was a breaking point. After missing a game because of a personal matter, he came back and was ready to play.
At the end of the day and the end of the season, the rest of the team is worth it, because of the way they played.
In a playoff setting, what he brings buys him more time. It is the NBA way, and always will be. The Heat, an organization that thrives on holding players to high standards and not being afraid to attack problems, is a little tougher at times.
In the third quarter, after the Heat had fallen down by as many as 13 points in the first half, he wasn't afraid to test his coach again. The game was in its most precarious moments, the Heat were on a run to take the lead, and Butler gambled to try for steals.
If he missed them, it could have led to easy baskets for the Celtics. The most powerful of his 17 points in the quarter was his 3-pointer and dunk, which he picked off.
I tell you right now, I don't like him, he doesn't like me, and I was 2-for-2 on those particular shoot-the-gap passing. I don't get them all the time, and then you see him look over there.
It's because he trusts his instincts and that he knows he has developed a line of credit with Spoelstra, even if it sometimes dips into the red. Even if it can infuriate him, he gives some latitude because he knows that the driving force behind Miami's pursuit of a championship is Butler.
During the previous series against Philadelphia, he averaged 27.5 points, eight rebound and six assists. He was the motivating factor in the first game.
The two steals kind of changed the way the game was being played, according to the coach.
Sometimes, fingerprints from games end up with those of other people, such as Spoelstra's fingerprints on wineglasses. Pat Riley used to have the younger Spoelstra come to his office after bad losses. They would sit and sip in silence after Riley picked a bottle from his shelf.
As part of the league's 75th anniversary celebration, Spoelstra and Riley were named one of the top 15 coaches in NBA history. If he wants it, he will have a good chance of being the national team coach in the future. He is at the top of his craft and is likely in the prime of his coaching years.
He can still be driven up a wall. He can get Spoelstra one step closer to a championship by doing the same to the Celtics.
The style of basketball I like to play is when you run into people and see who falls down first.