Erik Spoelstra and Jimmy Butler had a disagreement on the Miami bench last night during a Heat loss to the Golden State Warriors. Team mascot Udonis Haslem was there to cool tensions. Just kidding, he was there to escalate the situation to 11. For a normal team, this would be bad. But these are the Miami Heat, owners and operators of a unique and proprietary brand of culture.
Everyone involved was quick to explain why it's actually a good thing to have angry meetings like this in public with the playoffs looming.
"We have bigger things to accomplish," Spoelstra said. "But we do want to play better. Everything else across the board. It starts with our leadership, our veteran players have to lead and then we just have to play better. We got to play more consistently, and that's really all the discussions were. I know how it could look on the outside, but as I mentioned before, that is more our language than playing without passion or without toughness or without multiple efforts."
Kyle Lowry, who smartly removed himself from the situation, pointed out that Miami is a basketball team that wants to win basketball games and were simply conversating.
"Listen, our guys really want to win basketball games and we have guys that work extremely hard," Lowry said. "The passion comes out. The fire and the emotions come out sometimes. But like I said, to us it's nothing. We conversated and had a conversation and we continue to build."
PJ Tucker took a different approach, one in a field adjacent to gaslighting.
Simple-minded fools who think it's not a good sign that the Heat have dropped four of their last seven and are leaking oil before the most pivotal stretch of the year don't understand that this is all part of the plan. The hardest working, best conditioned, most professional, unselfish, toughest, meanest, nastiest team in the NBA runs hotter, collectively, than any other side. To keep that type of fire bottled up would be disastrous. It had to spill out in the form of guys MF-ing each other while losing yet again.
All part of the masterplan.