Butler's reputation was tarnished by his exit from the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, which included a trade demand and an infamous practice session last October during which he took aim at teammates, general manager Scott Layden and head coach Tom Thibodeau, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 30-year-old Houston native addressed the outside view of him Friday:
Butler said Dwyane Wade, the Heat legend who retired after the 2018-19 campaign, played a key role in convincing him to join Miami in the offseason.
"No. 3 was like 'This Culture fits you,'" Butler told reporters. "It's been great. Everybody here wants everyone to be better. To be great."
He added: "I've seen it over the years how the fans embraced [Wade] and I wanted to be apart of it. I want to make that happen again. ... I just want to pick up where he left off."
Butler explained he wants to create an environment where every member of the Heat possesses his edgy style, and he's already witnessed a few players with a similar vibe.
"He's always got shit to say," he said about rookie Tyler Herro. "I love that kid."
Justise Winslow received similar praise, with Butler saying "he's smart, he's aggressive [and] he damn sure doesn't back down from anybody."
The Heat head into the campaign tied for the fifth-best odds to win the Eastern Conference with a +1,400 betting line, the same as the Indiana Pacers, per Caesars Sportsbook. They trail the Milwaukee Bucks (-125), Sixers (+150), Boston Celtics (+700) and Brooklyn Nets (+1,000).
Although Miami can't yet match the talent level of those teams, Butler is clearly trying to help a tough, physical squad that's build to succeed in the playoffs.