Despite being selected and given the honour to play in the NBA All-Star game last weekend, Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves decided that he wouldn’t take part in the game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Butler was supposed to be a member of Team Steph in the All-Star game against Team LeBron, but he decided that he wouldn’t participate in the game. Team Steph would go on to lose against Team LeBron 148-145.
The Timberwolves star explained to the media after the game that his decision to sit was because he wanted to take the opportunity to rest up. He said according to Dan Devine of Yahoo! Sports: “Rest. I have to rest. I have to rest my body up. This Timberwolves season is very, very important to me. I’ve got to make sure I’m ready to roll when I get back there.”
The decision by Butler to rest and miss the All-Star game didn’t go down too well with many people, especially those Western Conference players that were on the brink of becoming an All-Star and could’ve been called up in his place if he had decided to pull out of the game a lot sooner.
One of those players who was unhappy with the point guard was Los Angeles Clippers star Lou Williams, as he tweeted to Butler: “u serious bruh? Lol.”
However, he quickly cleared the air when people thought he was genuinely annoyed with Butler.
Mike D’Antoni, who coached Butler’s Team Steph in the All-Star game, tried to explain the Timberwolves star’s decision to sit in his postgame press conference, as he said: “He was tired and he just felt his legs weren’t there. He didn’t practice yesterday or play today. You have to respect that. He plays hard. Sometimes your body just needs a rest.”
It is unfortunate that someone like Williams, a 13-year veteran and former Sixth Man of the Year who has never made an All-Star roster, wasn’t given an opportunity to replace him, but Butler had already earned the spot outright.
It seems as though Butler didn’t know that he didn’t want to play in the All-Star game until late into the weekend, and at a point where it was too late to call in a replacement. Otherwise, this situation would have most likely been avoided.