Miami Heat Star Jimmy Butler Nabs Huge Milestone in First Game Back

Jimmy Butler

Getty Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat dunks against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second quarter at American Airlines Arena on January 04, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler returned to the court after missing 10 games due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and while it was expected for the 31-year-old to be a little rusty in his first game back, nothing could be further from the truth.

The five-time All-Star went off in the first half, scoring 20 points on 6-of-13 from the field and 8-of-8 from the foul line — a performance that catapulted Butler into reaching a new milestone in his NBA career — scoring 10,000 points.

In the third quarter, Butler recorded his fourth rebound, which brought his career rebound record to 3,000.

Butler hasn’t played since January 9, and his return came not a day too soon. The Heat, which have been particularly ravaged by COVID-19 this season, are sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 6-11 record before playing the Kings on Saturday night.

Butler Lost Over 12 Pounds in a Week While Sidelined with COVID-19: Report

Butler lost over 12 pounds in one week according to Ethan Skolnick of the Five on the Floor podcast. Skolnick insinuates– but does not confirm — that Butler’s disturbing weight loss was due to contracting COVID-19, not just sitting out due to contact tracing.

The five-time All-Star appeared on the Heat bench for the first time in weeks on January 27, and while it was great to see Butler sitting alongside his teammates, “He looks a little lighter,” Skolnick says.

“He lost more than a dozen pounds in roughly a week,” Skolnick continues. “Again, everybody can read in to that how they like. The good news is that Jimmy is back. The worst is over.”

It’s hasn’t gone unnoticed that Butler kept out longer than his other teammates who were also forced to sit out earlier this month due to COVID-19 contact tracing, which led many to believe that the team’s star actually contracted coronavirus.

Regardless of how or why COVID-19 kept Butler on the bench, the 31-year-old hasn’t played a game in weeks, and the Heat have struggled to find a way to win without him starting. On January 28, there was hope Butler would be able to suit up after being upgraded to questionable earlier in the day, but the Heat’s 5:30 p.m. ET injury report dashed those hopes.

While Butler has been able to return to practice, he was listed as out for the team’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, his 10th missed game.

Butler Only Has 1 Goal This Season: To Win the NBA Finals

Before the 2020-2021 NBA Season got underway, Jimmy Buckets admitted that he was “not content.” In fact, he wouldn’t be content until one thing happens.

“I haven’t won anything worth saying I’ve won,” the 31-year-old revealed to the media on December 15. “I think I have a long way to go. My team has a long way to go. So whenever I win it, then you can ask me that question next year.”

Butler, who’s entering his 10th season in the NBA, has just one goal for himself and his Heat teammates: “To win. That’s it, to win.”

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