Heat star Jimmy Butler opens up about his friend, the late Demaryius Thomas

May 31, 2023, 2:53 PM | Updated: 2:53 pm

Jimmy Butler, DT...

Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

DENVER—When the Miami Heat take the floor on Thursday against the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, it won’t be the first time six-time All-Star Jimmy Butler has made it to the Mile High City in front of a big crowd.

Butler was a frequent visitor to Colorado in the past because he was great friends with Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas. DT’s legendary nine years in blue and orange saw him make four Pro Bowls and become a key player for Denver’s Super Bowl 50 win. Butler was often spotted on the sidelines with Broncos Country cheering on DT.

Sadly, Thomas tragically passed away in 2021, just two years after he had ended his NFL career. Thomas died from a seizure disorder resulting from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), according to an autopsy.

“That’s my guy, my brother forever. I miss him so much,” Butler said in Denver ahead of the NBA Finals. “I used to spend so much time here with him, watching him be great. He motivated me because his story is really, really incredible. Through everything that he’s been through, to make it and do what he did for the Broncos. I actually have a lot of love for this city.

Butler said in 2015 to that the odds were stacked against DT and he turned into such a great athlete and made Jimmy respect Thomas. The two trained together, cheered for each other, and hung out with one another in Denver and other places.

“Like I said, I miss that guy. I wish he was here to sit courtside and watch me do my thing because we talked about this all the time,” Butler said. “Maybe not Denver versus my team, but just being able to watch me win a championship like he did.”

So if the Heat pull the upset on Denver, just know DT is looking down, smiling on Jimmy reaching the same heights he once did, even if it comes at the expense of his former city.



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Heat star Jimmy Butler opens up about his friend, the late Demaryius Thomas