By Erik Chambliss

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia 76ers with Jimmy Butler were four bounces away from advancing in the playoffs last season. Now in 2020, Butler is four wins away from an NBA title with the Miami Heat while the Sixers are searching for a new coach after being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

Ahead of Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers, Butler was asked about the difference in structure between last year’s Sixers team and this year’s Heat team.

“I just get to be me here,” he said. “I get to call it how I see it, nobody takes it personally. I don’t have to worry about anyone trying to control me, as it was said people were trying to do over there.”

Last summer, the Sixers sent Butler to Miami in a sign-and-trade deal which landed them Josh Richardson in return.

In the year-plus since that move, there has been much speculation on why Butler was not brought back to Philadelphia.

Despite the rumors, Butler says he does not have any bad feelings towards his old team.

“I have no hard feelings towards any of those players, anybody in that organization. I’m glad to be where I am. As you can tell it’s worked out,” he said.

Back in November, Butler alluded to the idea that something happened behind the scenes, which led to his decision to leave the Sixers.

He said he would not go into detail about what may have happened, but said when the time is right, it will come out.

So now Sixers fans can only sit and watch the Butler-led Heat play for the franchise’s fourth title while wondering what could have been if Butler remained with the team.

Erik Chambliss