WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Jimmy Butler apparently knows only one way, the early way.
So after a series of 4 a.m. workouts at AmericanAirlines Arena last month, the Heat's offseason free-agent star addition was up bright and early Tuesday for the start of training camp at Keiser University.
"Just a little extra work while y'all in your third dream. I like to get it in," he said following the first of two-a-days. "How did I get in today? I clocked in at 3:30. You're asleep, right?"
Added on a four-year, $141 million contract in July, this was the moment Butler had been waiting for.
"I just want to compete," the 30-year-old former All-Star said. "I just want to hoop. All the training is cool. But I want to get out there with my guys, talk a little bit. But more than anything, just compete. I think that's why we do what we do over the summer. For real, it's loading up for this. I think today was a good start."
Butler spoke at his initial Heat introduction in July and then at his formal introduction Tuesday about embracing the team's culture. Tuesday delivered that sweaty embrace.
"Everybody is locked in. Everybody is helping. Everybody is talking," he said. "A group full of leaders, and everybody is leading in different ways. They're helping me way more than I can help them at this point in time. But I think that's what the team is about. That's what the team is for, everybody being there for each other."
Coach Erik Spoelstra said Butler arrived as advertised.
"The thing that also is notable about that is he has a Hall of Fame work ethic," Spoelstra said. "That's not something of myth. That's something that's well earned and it's real. I think he also respects that he's walking into a gym where there's several guys that are right there with him, step for step, in terms of work ethic.
"They may not be coming in at crazy hours like he comes in, but they're putting in time and putting in a lot of extra time."
Butler already has earned the Udonis Haslem seal of approval.
"I think for me," Haslem said, "it helps me just have a guy on the court that translates the same message as myself, that has the same intensity of myself and is going to require guys to play at his level."
That already has led to a bit of gamesmanship.
"Me and him got a little side thing going on here and there on pick-and-roll D," Haslem said. "I'm up 0-2 on him right now, two stops to his none. We keep it going, keep it interesting, keep it exciting, keep it competitive."
For his part Butler said to continue to bring it on.
"I like it because everybody has something to say," he said. "I'm probably the first one that has something to say, but I'm telling you, we compete. We got some dogs. We want to fight. I know if we can battle against one another, when the time presents itself to battle against an opposing team, it's going to be even easier."
Butler ended his first Heat camp practice in discussion with Heat President Pat Riley.
"I want to have a relationship with everybody," he said. "I want to pick everybody's brain. Everybody has been here longer than I've been here. I just want to continue to figure out how I can be the best player, how I can help anybody in any way possible. But more than anything, get to know everybody's faces."