The Loop

Jimmy Butler didn’t invite anyone to the NBA bubble

September 01, 2020

Jesse D. Garrabrant

Hmm, how do we put this delicately? Jimmy Butler is an, um, acquired taste, even amongst his peers. He’s a bit prickly and a little ego-centric. He’s alienated a few former teammates and burned a couple bridges (especially in Minnesota, where he was accused of sleeping with Karl Anthony-Townes’ then girlfriend.) He lasted all of 55 games in Philadelphia before bouncing down to Miami, where he seems to have settled in for the time being. But if you’re wondering who Jimmy Butler really is, we got a glimpse this week, when NBA players were permitted to invite their families into the bubble this week for the first time in months. As many players reunited with their loved ones on the sidelines, TNT revealed that Butler didn’t invite anyone, calling his stint in the bubble “a business trip.”

Whatever helps you sleep at night, Jimbo.

Now we’re not picking on Butler, but you don’t have to look very hard to see this as a symptom of sadness, not focus. A guy who has spent his entire career focused on capital-S Self suddenly finds himself alone while all the players and coaches he’s slighted over the years hug their wives and play HORSE with their kids. Hollywood producers would reject this script for being too on-the-nose and Jimmy Butler is living it live on TNT.

All that being said, after 10 episodes of ‘The Last Dance,’ we are one million percent certain that Jordan would have done the same thing and made the entire Bulls team follow suit for good measure. Were not equating Butler to Jordan, but he did just score 40 in the Heat’s Game 1 victory over the top-seeded Bucks 115-104 in the Easter Conference Semis on Monday. Maybe, just maybe, he’s onto something here . . .