Don't tell Jimmy Butler that his Miami Heat are underdogs to the Los Angeles Lakers. He's not hearing it.
They are, of course. Miami was the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, and had 60-1 preseason odds to win the NBA title. Even after the impressive, often dominant run to the NBA Finals, the Lakers are still a heavy favorite.
Per DraftKings Nation, the Lakers are a -375 favorite to win the series, with the Heat at +280. When told about the preseason odds, Butler, the team's biggest star, gave his thoughts on the "underdog" label. He thinks the Heat are just "a really good team."
"I'm not going to say that we're anybody else," Butler told members of the media today. "But I just don't think that we're underdogs. I don't."
"So what that nobody picked us to be here? That's okay. Pretty sure nobody's picking us to win, either. That's okay," Jimmy Butler continued. "But we understand that. We embrace that. Because at the end of the day, we truly don't care."
"We're just going to go out here and compete, play together like we always have, and see where we end up. But at the end of the day, we're going to do this our way, the Miami Heat way, and that way's worked for us all year long."
If the Heat pull out the upset, which truly wouldn't be the biggest surprise with how well they've played through the entirety of the NBA Bubble in Orlando, it would make them the most unlikely NBA champions in years. They've already drawn some comparisons to the 2011 Dallas Mavericks—which beat LeBron James' Miami Heat—and the 2004 Detroit Pistons, which knocked off a late Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal Lakers team. They certainly hope to join that group of famous underdog NBA Champions, even if they reject part of that descriptor.