Wade's advice to Butler: 'Focus on what you're trying to build' with Heat
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Retired Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade says he made it clear to Jimmy Butler that he wants him to forge his own path, unencumbered by any perceived need to live up to Wade's playing career.

"One thing I told Jimmy when he got there was, 'Hey, this is (the) Jimmy Butler era,'" Wade said on a conference call Wednesday, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. "'Don't worry about people saying anything about Dwyane Wade. I am old and retired and gone. So you don't have to worry about me anymore.

"'Focus on what you're trying to build with Miami in your time there. Don't ever feel like you have to be me or anybody else that's come before you. You just have to be Jimmy Butler.' And I think he's great at being Jimmy Butler, and that's who he needs to be."

Wade's legacy looms large in Miami. The 38-year-old, who retired after the 2018-19 season, ranks first in Heat history in games played (948), points (21,556), assists (5,310), and steals (1,492).

The Heat had advanced past the first round of the playoffs just twice in the team's first 15 seasons; Wade's arrival in 2003 marked the beginning of an unprecedented period of success for the franchise that included three championships (2006, 2012, and 2013) in five Finals appearances.

During his brief time away from the Heat, Wade played alongside Butler on the Bulls in 2016-17. Wade said he quickly got the impression that his fellow Marquette alum would be a good fit in Miami.

"I think Jimmy's been very clear, and I think I've spoken a few times - it's conversations that we had about Miami early on, and it's certain people that you just know are Miami Heat guys when you know the culture," Wade said.

"And for me, I always thought that Jimmy was that - not knowing that this would actually happen - but I always thought that Jimmy's personality and his crazy is perfect for (Heat president) Pat Riley and (coach) Erik Spoelstra's crazy."

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Wade's advice to Butler: 'Focus on what you're trying to build' with Heat
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