From undrafted to an important piece of a potential Miami Heat championship roster, Max Strus has had quite the basketball journey.
Max Strus is tough.
Tough enough to work his way from Division II Lewis University to becoming a playoff starter for the Miami Heat. But it’s hard to not be tough when Jimmy Butler is on your squad.
Strus, who broke out for the Heat last season hitting 41 percent of his three-pointers, spoke with FanSided as part of a promotion with EVO Corrective Lenses, and talked about how his “Welcome to the NBA” moment occurred every day in practice.
A former undrafted free agent, Strus went from watching Butler and Derrick Rose, growing up in the Chicago suburbs, to battling the former directly.
“He kind of took me under his wing day one, we pretty much played one-on-one every single day my first year here. He brutally beat me every single time, put me in my place,” Strus said of his relationship with Butler.
He basically just made me feel like I was a little kid.”
Butler has gained a reputation among fans as someone who breathes, eats, and sleeps basketball on an almost psychotic level. From his infamous flameout with the Minnesota Timberwolves to his resurrection of the Miami Heat, Butler’s presence instantly makes those who buy into his dedication better.
“Playing against guys like that is only going to make you better so I thank him for that,” Strus said. “I think it’s helped guide me to where I am now.”
The end, it seems, justifies the means. But as for Butler’s new summer hairstyle, Strus was less receptive.
“That was terrible. That was a bad look for him,” Strus said, clearly having learned more than just on-court skills from Butler. “I don’t think he should bring that back anytime soon.”
You can catch Max Strus and the rest of the Heat as they start the NBA season against the Bulls on October 19th.