Jimmy Butler was exceptional in Game 6 against the Boston Celtics, as the Miami Heat avoided elimination thanks to his 47 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals. While Butler was humble when describing his performance, Heat point guard Kyle Lowry did not hold back -- and his honesty may cost him.
"It was f-----g incredible," Lowry said of Butler's play after the game.
As soon as the words left his mouth, laughter among the media broke out and Lowry realized his mistake. The six-time NBA All-Star quickly apologized for his language.
"My bad," Lowry said. "Don't fine me, NBA. That was a mistake, that was really by mistake. I promise."
Butler was sitting next to Lowry while the situation played out, and he attempted to keep a serious face at first. Before Lowry was done pleading his case, though, Butler jokingly went at him.
"I was going to say you are definitely getting fined," Butler said. "Fine him. Ya'll fine me all the time. Fine him."
Lowry then stared at Butler, turned back to the microphone and replied, "please don't" before continuing to praise his teammate's play.
While the moment was funny, Butler's words do have some truth to them. Butler received nine technical fouls this season, and each came with at least a $2,000 fine. Last November, Butler was fined $30,000 for "attempting to escalate an altercation" and "failing to comply with NBA security." And in February, he failed to comply with media obligations during NBA All-Star weekend, causing a $25,000 fine.
Butler's most recent fine came in April -- and he wasn't even playing; the four-time All-NBA selection was sidelined with knee inflammation during Game 5 of the Heat's first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. Toward the end of the first half, Max Strus hit a three-pointer to extend Miami's lead, and Butler celebrated on the bench by making a thrusting motion. That was considered an obscene gesture by the NBA, so it fined him $15,000. The Heat also got fined $15,000 for sharing a GIF of the celebration on social media.
The Heat is still looking for a ticket to the NBA Finals, and it can get one with a win in Sunday's Game 7. The game will take place in Miami and is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and fuboTV (try for free).