Jimmy Butler is lobbying to the NBA front office about not having his surname written across the back of his Miami Heat jersey.
The Miami Heat is one of the surprising contenders in East this year. No one expected a ragtag group of players to challenge the powerhouses of Milwaukee and the Raptors. The team’s competitiveness, without a doubt, comes from their leader Jimmy Butler. Ever since he was traded to the team from Minnesota, Butler has led the group to become headstrong.
Jimmy Butler stands for social injustice
Butler has been known for two things. First, he is a tough competitor. He never backs down from any fight even if he’s already an underdog. Second, Butler is a think-outside-the-box guy. He is the type of player who puts in double or triple the amount of work needed in the gym. It is driven by his desire to always improve his game on the court.
As such, he is opting not to choose from any of the 29 league-approved social justice messages for the jerseys. Instead, he just wants to remove his name at the back of his jersey completely. He said,
“I love and respect all the messages that the league did choose. But for me, I felt like with no message, with no name, it’s going back to like who I was. And if I wasn’t who I was today, I’m no different than anybody else of color.”
It will be up for the league to approve this idea. If it does, many players could soon follow, and it could send a stronger message across society.
Working out inside the hotel
The mechanics inside the NBA bubble is complicated. Teams and players have to follow a strict schedule to observe distancing. As a result, time in the gym is limited to give way for sanitation and thorough cleaning.
As mentioned earlier, Butler isn’t the type to follow the normal team workout schedule. He likes to put in the extra hours of sweat to keep his competitiveness up. To satisfy his itch inside the bubble, he decided to workout inside his hotel room, which his neighbor didn’t appreciate. Upon receiving the complaint from a hotline, security guards immediately went to Butler’s room only to find out he was drenched in sweat practicing his dribbles.
Earlier during the lockdown, Butler also kept his mind sharp by doing pilates, yoga, and group workouts via Zoom.
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