Spoelstra On Butler Not Being All-Star Game Starter: “It’s A Joke”

When the All-Star game starters were announced earlier this week, Heat swingman Jimmy Butler was not among those voted to get the starting nod. Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra took exception to Butler’s snub, ESPN’s Nick Friedell writes.

Butler, who was listed as a frontcourt player on All-Star ballots, lost out to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Pascal Siakam for a starting spot. He likely would have had a better shot if he was listed as a guard, where he would’ve been up against starters Kemba Walker and Trae Young.

Spoelstra stressed Butler’s flexibility in the Heat lineup and being able to essentially play all five positions as needed. The Heat coach expressed hope that voting changes in the future to not limit players based on position alone.

“These are such antiquated labels that I feel like we’ve moved on from that years ago when we started talking about positionless [players],” he said. “But either way, regardless of how you want to label it or discuss it, Jimmy Butler should be a starter in this All-Star Game. It’s a joke that he’s not. Hopefully this will change things in the future.”

Butler, 30, is averaging 20.3 PPG along with a career-high 7.0 RPG and 6.5 APG in his first season in South Beach. The four-time All-Star has been a focal point in helping the Heat to a 31-14 record, tied with the defending NBA champion Raptors for second place in the Eastern Conference.

Butler left the Heat’s Friday loss to the Clippers due to a sprained ankle.

“You have to wait until the next day to see how a guy feels,” Spoelstra said.

newest oldest

44 thoughts on “Spoelstra On Butler Not Being All-Star Game Starter: “It’s A Joke”

  1. aircarter777

    Butler does not deserve to be a starter on the east team. Trae Young is least deserving because he sucks on the defensive side and he doesn’t do anything for his team to actually win games but fans like his flashy scoring which is great for an all star game. Butler can come off the bench and still have the satisfaction that he’s on a really good team and he plays both ways.

      • soccer11

        Young’s team has won how many game? 12-13. No way he should be on it. Butler over him any day of the week

    • Butler is better than Young but Young has better highlights and is having an amazing season. Not his fault his team sucks…
      Young is third in scoring with 29 points and fourth in assists with 9 per game.

      Whereas Butler is putting up 20/7/6.5

  2. Wade Herbers

    Butler was a grade A jerk in MN. Couldn’t care less if he ever gets any recognition. His own ego can more than make up for any slight the league can show him.

    • Strike Four

      You mean a guy dedicated to winning was a jerk to a clueless, terrible franchise who has absolutely no clue how to win a title? You would too, if you cared about winning like he does.

    • yoyo137

      Look at the TWolves without him and look at the Heat with him. He cares about winning, which Towns and Wiggins didn’t, which pissed him off. He was completely justified in his actions and the more success the Heat have and the longer the Wolves struggle, it only justifies it even more.

  3. Last night during the NBA games on Espn they said Butler is not a starter due to the player votes. Apparently, the fan and writer votes had him starting, but the player votes did not. In general, I don’t think fans should get votes for anything in any of the sports, but it was interesting to hear that it was the players which chose to keep him from starting.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      It was both the players and the fans really. Even though he was 6th in the player vote, Butler was just 4th in the fan vote. But so much of the fan voting is completely idiotic, they had both Tacko Fall and Steph Curry 6th while they were both just 21st in the player vote.

      • jobbins

        And Caruso, that s**t is ridiculous. They should at least take 10% of the fan vote and give it to coaches. Limit coaches to voting for only two of their own players max.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      To clarify:

      Butler was 4th in the fan voting, but that wouldn’t make him a starter because the votes are separate for the front court and the guards.

  4. Buckman

    For a career it only matters to named an all star as that what counts when HOF consideration starts. Additionally, the all star game is a joke.

    • x%sure

      A word or two is missing^, but I agree that nobody keeps track of starting status once the silly actual ASG is over.

  5. crazylarry

    Butler has a “ All Star “ ego. Glad the cry baby isn’t in. Also if the fans weren’t able to vote what is the point. The players now pick the teams and friends they want to play with. Why would I want to watch an All Star game where BRON BRON in the west and someone like Cryree in the east pick all their posse to play with?

  6. Strike Four

    Trae Young is the worst player to be an all-star starter in the history of the game. Jimmy is 10 times the player he is.

    • Trae Young the worst AS starter ever?! Come on, dude is averaging 29, 4 and 9. Yes, he’s on a bad team and his defence contributes to that, but B.J. Armstrong was voted a starter in 1994. Tell me he’s better than Trae Young!

  7. Imagine caring about who starts (or even plays) in the All-Star game. It’s a popularity contest and has no bearing on the NBA season. Other leagues should follow in the MLB’s footsteps by making the All-Star game actually mean something.

    • Adam37

      MLB all star game is not better than NBA and it would suck for the all-star game to decide something like home court

    • amk3510

      MLB all star hasn’t meant anything in 3 years and it was terrible deciding World Series home field that way

      • Yeah the decision to have the MLB All-star game have any impact on the actual season was flat-out stupid. Sadly, that kind of illogical stupidity is pretty much par for the course for MLB. I am a fan of the NBA and MLB pretty much equally, but MLB really goes out of its way to make it a hard organization to respect.

  8. yoyo137

    I wish people would get even close to as mad about Towns and Wiggins not wanting to win as they are about Butler calling them out for it and punking them.

    • I could not care less about Butler, the Timberwolves or the Heat…does that make you feel any better?

      • yoyo137

        I wasn’t talking to you. How important do you think you are because I didn’t even notice that you commented on this thread at all until you decided my comment was about you

        • Chief Two Hands

          I didn’t say your comment had anything to do with me. It was clearly just a joke. Well, clear to anyone with any intelligence. Lighten up, kid.

  9. I think Butler is a great player, but the “snub” isn’t a joke. The ASG is an exhibition, and the starters are by design selected based on popularity across fans, players and coaches, NOT the basketball merits. Complaining about not being a starter is (effectively) complaining about not being popular among the voting groups; as though the better is somehow entitled to that popularity.

  10. Man I hate the fans disrespect towards players in All Star games. First of all it’s an exhibition game with zero meaning.
    Trae Young has been amazing this season.
    He’s third in scoring with 29 points per game, fourth is assists with 9 per game. He’s 11th in PER, he’s having career highs in every statistical category except blocks.

    Everyone rips into him for his defence or cause the hawks are a losing team but that’s stupid.
    Kemba was a starter last year, he’s a below average defender and his team didn’t make the playoffs last year.
    The year before that in 2018, Goran Dragic made the all stars…

    everyone hates to give Young the respect he deserves. Steph Curry has never had a 29-9 season like Young is having, the closes he has gotten was 30-7 and that was the year of his unanimous MVP in his seventh season. Young is in his second season …

    • Adam37

      Trae Young doesn’t deserve as much respect as you think, man! He’s literally one of the worst defensive players in the league like can’t guard anyone to an embarrassing level. He can be fun as hell to watch on offense and his passing is excellent. But don’t say Curry never had a season like what he’s having because that’s ignorant as hell.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Curry did have the luxury of being surrounded by elite defenders for the five great seasons he had. But as far as Trae Young goes, he will always be the guy who was idiotically traded for Luka Doncic.

      • Simmons>Russ

        Didn’t say Curry never had a season like him. All I said is Statistically Curry hasn’t had a year as good as he is Trae is having so far, In terms of points and assists.
        Obviously in terms of actually winning games (a team accomplishment) the hawks are no where near as good as that GSW team but that team did have Klay Barnes Green Iggy and West and so on.

        Plus when did players playing defence matter for the all star game? If you look at this years best defenders (top defensive real plus and minus) in the top 10 you have Kris Dunn (2nd), Alex Caruso (4th), Paul Millsap (6th) and DJ Augustine (8th). No one complains about the best defenders not making the all star game. Whereas if you look at the offensive plus and minus everyone in the top 10 is expected to make the all star game.

    • Rewane

      Stats are inflated on losing teams, compare Young’s stat to Curry’s when the Hawks make the playoffs.

      • Adam37

        The defense plus minus numbers don’t mean best defensive player, though they definitely matter a lot… I don’t think any NBA analyst would pick those players as top 10 defenders in the league

        I think the Curry comparison you’re making is silly. The hawks entire offense is designed around “let’s get stats for young to make him look good”.
        The one thing young is better at is passing – he’s one of the best 5 guys in the league. He’s just so sooo bad on D and that does matter and should matter when choosing all stars. I don’t care that he’s starting he’s an exciting player but I don’t think he deserves to start

    • This man in his second season is already putting up numbers on par if not better than the person they compare him too, Steph Curry.
      Hawks have such a nice young team and Young has really embraced that culture but he he’s ready to win now. Young current deal runs for another 2 years after this one and if the Hawks don’t start to turn things around then I wouldn’t be surprised if he used FA to get a new team

  11. El Don

    Trae Young is an absolute beast, he must always be a starter this year, outrageous that someone thinks he shouldn’t.
    Kemba is a joke as a starter & Siakam ain’t as good as Butler… but Young, Giannis & Embiid all are sooo much ahead of Butler.

    • Adam37

      Ridiculous! Basketball is played on both offense and defense so while I get why people would want to have Young in the all-star game (especially since they don’t play defense most of the game!) — he’s not as good as Butler, much less way better!

  12. Tbh don’t even care for the all star game with zero defence would much rather a loaded slam dunk comp and 3 point comp. this is what the people want to see each year

    Should have 2 divisions guards versus forwards and bigs and then a 1v1 for the title

    3 Point Comp
    Guards: Curry Lillard Harden Young Gordon Harris Beal Booker and Thompson

    Forwards + Bigs: KLove KAT Ingles Middleton Harris PG Butler and Porzingod

    Dunk Comp
    Guards: Russ LaVine SpidaMitchell DeRozan DSJ Diallo JBrown DRose GGreen and TRoss

    Forwards and Bigs: DJJ LBJ JCollins Gordon Griffin Carter Giannis AD and Zion

Leave a Reply