Jimmy Butler is not concerned by the Miami Heat being portrayed as underdogs for the NBA Finals, insisting they will continue to play in the same way and "see where we end up".
While it is hardly a surprise to see the Los Angeles Lakers come out of the Western Conference, few expected the Heat to be the last team standing in the East.
Butler helped Miami, the fifth seeds in their conference, see off the Boston Celtics in six games, sending the franchise into the finals for the first time since 2014.
The last time the Heat made it so far, LeBron James was on their roster, but this time they must overcome the 16-time NBA All-Star - as well as the rest of the Lakers - if they are to pull off another upset and be crowned champions.
"I'm not going to say that we're any better than anybody else, but I just don't think that we're underdogs. I don't," Butler told the media.
"So what that nobody picked us to be here. That's okay. Pretty sure nobody is picking us to win, either. That's okay. We understand that. We embrace that, because at the end of the day we truly don't care.
"We're just going to go out here and compete, play together like we always have, and I'm going to see where we end up.
"But, at the end of the day, we're going to do this our way, the Miami Heat way, and that way has worked for us all year long."
James twice led Miami to the NBA title during his time with the team before returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he won a further championship in 2016.
While now 35, the first overall pick in the 2003 draft remains at the peak of his powers, according to Butler.
"He's still at the top of his game at 35, at 26, at 21. He's still dominating," Butler said of LeBron. "I mean, you've had to go through him at 26, 35, probably at 49.
"But he's shown why he is the player that he is, why he's had the career and the legacy that he's continually building, and it's not going to be an easy task these next couple of games.
"If anybody is up for that task, the Miami Heat are."
James was Finals MVP when the Heat triumphed in both 2012 and 2013.
He will now make NBA history by becoming the first man to enter a playoffs battle against a team having previously achieved Finals MVP status for that team.