The NBA is planning to proceed with an in-person All-Star Game on March 7 amid a global pandemic. The decision has sparked fierce debate from some players who feel the league is putting money over health.
The one-night event would combine the skills competitions with the main event, with players, coaches and staff descending upon Atlanta from all over the country. Is it a good idea? It certainly has quite a few detractors, including the NBA’s biggest name.
On Tuesday, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo was asked to chime in on the raging debate. The one-time All-Star gave a brutally honest take while poking some fun at his low stature on the league’s totem pole.
“It’s up to the older players, I ain’t got no say-so, they’re not going to listen to me,” Adebayo said. “I’m a one-time All-Star. They are going to listen to the Jimmy Butlers, the LeBrons, my opinion doesn’t matter on that, so let them have that.”
The most recent All-Star returns show Adebayo getting the sixth-most votes (307,498) and Butler the fifth-most (327,929) among front-court players.
Follow the Heavy on Heat Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Heat Revving Up for Seven-Game Road Trip
The Heat is revving up for an arduous seven-game road trip, the franchise’s longest since 2009. Head coach Erik Spoelstra commended his “tough-minded group” for sticking together amid a myriad of setbacks due to COVID-19 protocols and injuries so far this year. It’s just another hurdle they now have to clear.
“I just really commend the group for the mental stability and toughness, to be able to stay the course and not making excuses, not feel sorry for ourselves, not ask for pity from anyone,” Spoelstra told reporters on Tuesday. “We have a very tough-minded group. If anybody can handle all of these things that have happened, it’s this group in that locker room.”
Butler believes all the early-season struggles have forged a new identity. They’ll head out to Houston tomorrow looking to extend their winning streak to four games. Butler, who missed 10 games due to health and safety protocols, knows the team’s personal bubble has made them stronger.
“It’s going to help. We’re going to be together, off the floor and obviously on the floor, but we’re going to figure it out,” Butler said of the road trip. “We’re going to figure out a way to win some of these games on the road. We’re going to try to win all of them, to tell you the truth. We’re capable of it. But we’re really going to see what we’re made of, how tough we are, how resilient we are, and when things aren’t going our way how are we going to handle it?”
Players Chuckling Over Butler’s Acting Skills
When Butler fell down to the floor on Tuesday night following a hard foul from Julius Randle, his teammates were in on the joke. The Heat All-Star forward was hamming it up for the cameras, a fact he admitted to in his post-game press conference — and guys like Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro knew it the whole time. The expressions on their faces were priceless.
“He’s a big kid, that’s all I can say about that,” Adebayo said. “That situation, he’s just a big kid and everybody knew it, that’s why we were all laughing because we knew. I feel like that’s one of those things during the course of the game, it lightens the mood, everybody gets a mental break from being serious for like 30 seconds, and then we lock back in.”
Herro appeared to crack a smile on the court but admitted that he was a little worried when Butler first went down.
“I didn’t really know if he was serious when he fell on the ground or if he was doing a little bit of acting there,” Herro said. “So I was happy to see that he wasn’t actually hurt.”