In Bam Adebayo’s first two years in the league, he’s only attempted 22 3-point shots. His career 3-point percentage over those two seasons is 13.6 percent. It’s safe to say that the deep ball is not in his repertoire. In any other era of the NBA, he wouldn’t be expected to even attempt a single 3-point shot. However, in today’s era of space and pace, centers need to at least have a serviceable shot from beyond the arc.
In the offseason, Adebayo made it a point to work on both his ball-handling skills and 3-point shot, but still has only attempted six 3-pointers this season. In other aspects of his game, Adebayo has been an absolute force, particularly in the post and on the boards. He’s taken an astronomical leap in his offensive game, mainly because after the Heat traded Hassan Whiteside in the offseason, it opened the door for Adebayo to become Miami’s full-time starting center. He’s averaging a career-high 14.3 points and 10.4 rebounds a night, and ranks 13th in the league in field goal percentage (57.1).
As great as Adebayo has been this season, that’s still not good enough for teammate Jimmy Butler. It’s Adebayo’s 3-point shooting that has Butler’s attention, and before the Heat’s win against the Washington Wizards on Friday, Butler and Adebayo agreed on a bet. For every game that Adebayo doesn’t attempt a 3-point shot, he must pay Butler $500. So far, Adebayo is already in the hole, after not attempting a 3-pointer in the Wizards game.
At practice after the win, Butler put the bet on record, which means that with public attention around it, Adebayo is for sure going to have to pay up.
“Bam owes me $500, because he did not shoot a 3 last game,” Butler told reporters at a recent practice.
Despite Adebayo scoring a career-high 24 points in that win over Washington, Butler was focused on the bet he and Adebayo made. While talking to media, Adebayo did point out that at one point during that game he was open in the corner, but Butler didn’t give him the ball. So by his logic, it wasn’t his fault he didn’t attempt a shot from beyond the arc. In fact, Adebayo questions if Butler actually owes him for not giving him the ball.
“If you see him wide open in the corner and I don’t throw him the ball, you know it’s because I don’t want to give him $500,” Butler said.
Adebayo isn’t too concerned about the bet as long as the Heat keep on winning, and Miami’s been doing an awful lot of that lately. Miami has been a pleasant surprise this season in the East, with Butler leading a group of young players to the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.