While Jimmy Butler has been the catalyst for the deep playoff run for the Miami Heat, their role players have stepped up as well. One of them has been Caleb Martin, who has an interesting story about why he is playing for the team in the first place.
His season stats were not overly impressive, but Martin has stepped up when his team has needed him the most. During the regular season, he averaged 9.6 points, which has been upped to 12.2 in the playoffs. But his biggest performance came during Game 2 when he scored 25 points on 11 of 16 from the field.
Caleb Martin Confirms J. Cole Story
“[J. Cole] went straight to his contacts & hit up Caron [Butler]. They put me in position to come up here, get a scrimmage… I just came in, played well & the rest was history.”
Caleb Martin tells the story of how J. Cole helped him sign with the Heat 🔥pic.twitter.com/NCYFk3tkB4
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 22, 2023
At some point during that game, it was revealed on the TNT broadcast that rapper J. Cole had a hand in getting Martin to Miami. Before Game 3 on Sunday, Caleb Martin himself confirmed the story and gave some details.
The two are close, given their proximity. J. Cole is famously from North Carolina, and Martin was born in Winston-Salem. He played at NC State before transferring to Nevada, so many of his roots are still in the state. This has caused him and Cole to become close, and Martin works out at his gym, apparently.
According to Martin, he was working out in Cole’s gym after being waived by the Hornets.
“He kept asking me every day because he seen me every day. He kept asking like why haven’t I been signed, why I’m not with a team…I just kept telling him I haven’t gotten a chance yet.”
For reasons undisclosed, J. Cole is apparently also close with Miami Heat assistant coach and former NBA player Caron Butler. As Martin tells it, Butler got on the phone with Butler immediately, and the coach was able to set up a spot for Martin to run with the Heat in a scrimmage.
He apparently impressed, and the Heat signed Caleb Martin to a 3-year contract worth more than $20 million. He is now playing big minutes on one of the biggest Cinderella teams we have ever seen in the NBA playoffs.
Not bad for a guy who was waived by one of the worst teams in the league just a couple of years ago.
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