Report: Jimmy Butler was chosen to be All-Star, but he refused to attend game without Bam Adebayo

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Jimmy Butler’s absence from the the NBA All-Star roster was apparently not because he was snubbed.

Instead, Butler reportedly opted not to go because he strongly believes that Miami Heat teammate Bam Adebayo should have been chosen.

Ethan J. Skolnick spoke with Greg Sylvander on the “Five on the Floor” podcast that dealt with a number of issues connected to the Heat, with Skolnick explaining why Butler’s name was missing from the All-Star selections.

“For those who were sort of questioning why Jimmy wasn’t named to the All-Star team when [Kevin] Durant went out and it was [Domantas] Sabonis, I can tell you that the NBA wanted to name him (Butler) to the All-Star team,” said Skolnick.

After then prodding Sylvander to ask him the actual reason, Skolnick indicated that team loyalty was behind Butler’s decision.

“He wasn’t going unless Bam was going,” Skolnick said.

Butler has been selected for the All-Star Game on five previous occasions, while Adebayo earned his first selection last year during his breakout campaign.

This season, Adebayo has played in 31 games and delivered strong numbers, averaging 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. He’s also taken a strong leadership role in his fourth season with the team.

Butler is in his second season with the Heat and has largely been seen as the team leader since his arrival.

He’s only played in 21 games this year because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, but is averaging 20.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game.

A number of players have questioned the league scheduling this year’s All-Star Game, with the league continuing to have issues related to the ongoing pandemic.

Butler’s issue with not playing in this year’s contest is obviously more focused on supporting a teammate, a stand that will likely strengthen the bond between the two Heat stars.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.