So, it turns out that Jimmy Butler is an All-Star after all.
Following Kevin Durant’s hamstring injury, that will sit him during All-Star Break, the NBA gave the vacant spot to much-deserved Indiana Pacer forward Domantas Sabonis, who is averaging 21.6 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game this season.
But according to Ethan J. Skolnick of 5 Reason Sports, who covers the Miami Heat as closely as anyone, the spot was first offered to Jimmy Butler.
In the net 5 on the floor podcast, who frequently features alongside Greg Sylvander and Alex Toledo, Skolnick reported that Butler was not only invited, but also declined the offer because his teammate and All-Star great man Bam Adebayo was unable to join him.
“For those who were questioning why Jimmy (Butler) wasn’t named to the All-Star team when (Kevin) Durant came out, and it was (Domantas) Sabonis, I can tell you that the NBA wanted to name him to the All-Star team,” Skolnick reported. “I wasn’t going to go unless Bam went.”
What featured earlier this weekButler remains one of the NBA’s most impressive players and is currently at the center of the team’s first five-game winning streak since last year’s playoffs. At the moment, he is averaging 20.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.8 assists for the Heat, who are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings at 16-17. Since returning from COVID on Jan.30, the Heat are 10-5, and Butler’s averages have risen to 21.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.7 assists over the 15-game stretch. On the season, Adebayo has taken another leap from second in the Most Improved Player vote in 2019-20, scoring 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per night.
And it also just so happens that Butler is coming off a 33-10-8 line that led a win over NBA-leading Utah Jazz. Adebayo added 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.