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RUMOR: Jimmy Butler turned down All-Star selection because of Heat teammate Bam Adebayo

Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Heat

There were some eyebrow-raising names that were not named for an All-Star selection. Most notably, two Miami Heat players were left off the Eastern Conference roster in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

According to Ethan J.Skolnick of 5 Reasons Sports, who follows the Heat very closely, the position that was left vacant by Kevin Durant was offered to Jimmy Butler. Skolnick recently reported that Butler was invited to participate in the All-Star game, but he turned down the offer because teammate Bam Adebayo couldn’t join him.

“For those who were questioning why Jimmy (Butler) 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 to the All-Star team,” Skolnick said, per Deadspin. “He wasn’t going unless Bam was going.”

Jimmy Butler is having an MVP-type season, averaging 20.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.8 assists for the Heat, who currently are fifth in the Eastern Conference. Butler did miss some games due to COVID-19, but since his return on Jan. 30, they are 10-5.

Bam Adebayo has continued to emerge as a star in the NBA, making another stride in his game, putting up 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Adebayo was in tough competition at the forward position with guys like Julius Randle, Jayson Tatum and Domantas Sabonis (replacement) filling those spots.

Adebayo did make the All-Star cut last season, but even with his numbers improving, the NBA coaches chose to omit his name in this year’s selection.