Jimmy Butler showed up in the Heat’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but unfortunately, he did not play. Instead of a heat jersey, Butler was seen sporting a casual all-black ensemble as he watched from the benches how the action between the two teams unfolded.

And much to the dismay of the spectators, they decided to chant “Where’s Jimmy?” in unison to let the player know that his absence from the game did not go unnoticed.

Butler responded with a smile and then rose to his feet to blow kisses to the onlookers, who had been gracious enough to show him some affection.

Butler’s brief stay in Minnesota

Butler’s time with the Timberwolves was brief, appearing in 59 games during the 2017-18 season and a mere 10 in the 2018-19 season before being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Although Butler’s tenure in Minnesota was marked by a controversial end, the fans nevertheless have never forgotten his short yet impactful stay with the team.

Why was Jimmy out for the game? Was it allowed?

According to the new player participation policy, a healthy Jimmy shouldn’t be sitting out of a game.

As per BasketNews, a player can only miss a game if he’s sustained a genuine injury, has a pre-approved back-to-back restriction, has genuine personal reasons, has odd and exceptional circumstances, due to roster management, or end-of-season flexibility.

So why did Butler miss a game?

After playing in the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics game the night prior, the team decided to rest Butler for the next game. “We just want to make sure that he’s continuing to feel good,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “ especially early on.”

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Also, the team had consulted the league about their plan of letting Butler rest in accordance with Section V of the policy and allowed them to proceed, as reported by Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald on X:

“Heat injury report for tonight’s road game vs. Timberwolves on second night of B2B:
Out: Jimmy Butler (rest), Haywood Highsmith (knee), Josh Richardson (foot), Kevin Love (shoulder) and Caleb Martin (knee).”

“The Heat consulted with the league on their plan for Jimmy Butler on this back-to-back to make sure they’re in compliance with the new Player Participation Policy. One of the factors involved was that Butler played in last night’s nationally televised game.”

Section V permits teams to rest players at any point in time provided that the organization has notified the NBA in advance, so essentially, the Heat wasn’t breaking any rules.

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