My biggest complaint about the Jimmy Butler-led Miami Heat is how they’ve made me question my over decade-long sports hate for the franchise. In 2006, they crushed my soul by beating my beloved Dallas Mavericks thanks to Dwayne Wade being carried to the charity stripe like Debra Winger by referee Bennett Salvatore (seriously, google “2006 NBA finals” and see what autopopulates). Then in 2011, they made me rethink my love of LeBron James (the greatest player in the history of the sport and I won’t be taking any questions at this time). Mocking Dirk’s ailment?! How dare you! I got over it when the Mavs achieved glorious victory, but still, it was touch and go there for a minute.
But oh how this 2020 Miami team is impossible to dislike. Contrary to prior opinion, Butler is the ultimate teammate, there are late-game defense highlights from Bam Adebayo, Andre Iguodala is an immortal, and rookie Tyler Herro is coming off the bench to score roughly a million points. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Miami Heat account for not one but two coffee shops inside the NBA bubble.
Yes, there is Jimmy Butler’s Big Face Coffee, which we’ve covered extensively and will gladly continue to do so long as the Heat continue doing charmingly Heat-y things. But at a flat rate $20 per drink—be it espresso, cappuccino, latte, whatever—Big Face is, dare I say, priced out of the common pocketbook? Sure, the NBA’s stars can afford such a hefty price tag, but what of the ball kids, the trainers, the various other staff not pulling in seven-figure salaries who nonetheless yearn for a cup of coffee above and beyond the swill provided by Epcot? For the rest of us, there is now Little Face Coffee, started by the Heat’s assistant athletic trainer Brandon Gilliam.
Much like Butler with Big Face, Gilliam saw an opportunity with Little Face to fill a much-needed hole in the bubble economy: less expensive, still good coffee. Operating out of Gilliam’s hotel room, Little Face foregoes many of the drink options as well as the hefty price tag of its main competitor. For a mere $5, Gilliam will brew up a fresh cuppa using a “pour-over apparatus and a French press,” per ESPN.
“My poor video coordinator, he can't afford that,” Gilliam said of Butler's coffee, trying his best to suppress a grin. “He is up all hours of the night, breaking down all sorts of film. I am just trying to keep him going.”
But the brewing Bubble bean beef is all in good fun. Gilliam tells ESPN that, like Butler with Big Face, he is also considering trademarking Little Face Coffee, not because he wants to do anything with the name but because “doesn't want some random person doing [Little Face Coffee] just to compete with [Butler].”
Again I ask: how can you dislike this team? You can’t. Also I’d like to know: where can I cop some Big Face merch?