When Domantas Sabonis got named the replacement for the injured Kevin Durant, many around the league felt it was the wrong decision, especially with Jimmy Butler back and healthy on the court.
As it turns out, however, Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler was the one originally chosen to replace Kevin Durant in the 2021 All-Star game. According to Ethan J. Skolnick, who spoke with Greg Sylvander on the “Five on the Floor” podcast, Butler chose to decline the NBA's All-Star invite due to the absence of Bam Adebayo.
“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. “He wasn’t going unless Bam was going."
Despite Miami's struggles this season, both Butler and Bam have a strong case for being named All-Stars. This season, Butler is averaging 20.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.
As for Bam, he's putting up 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.
It's really criminal that neither of them ended up making the final cut, but Butler was intent on showing some love and support for his teammate, who he feels should have made it on the team.
Gotta love Butler and his selfless show of loyalty.