Jimmy Butler doesn't like the term "underdogs" to describe the Miami Heat. That said, he doesn't particularly care if the public views his team that way ahead of their NBA Finals matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"I'm not gonna say we're any better than anybody else, but I just don't think we're underdogs. I don't," Butler told reporters Tuesday. "So what that nobody picked us to be there. That's okay. I'm pretty sure nobody's picking us to win, either. That's okay. But we understand that. We embrace that. Because at the end of the day, we truly don't care."
The Heat were listed at 60-1 odds during the preseason to win the NBA championship, the lowest odds of any Finals team since 2002, per Sports Odds History. Miami would have the highest odds of any champion in recorded history, should Butler and Co. upset the Lakers.
Miami is also the lowest-seeded Finals team since the 1999 New York Knicks, who made an improbable run as a No. 8 seed in a lockout-shortened season.
That said, the Heat have spent their last two rounds as significant underdogs, taking out the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. They also present perhaps the toughest on-paper matchup to the top-heavy Lakers, so Butler may have a better chance at hoisting his first NBA championship than the odds would say.