Why didn't Jimmy Butler play in NBA All-Star Game?
Jimmy Butler is officially listed as 'DNP-Coach's Decision' in the box score for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, but in reality it was his own decision not to play.
After watching Team LeBron beat his Team Stephen team-mates 148-145 in an untypically competitive All-Star Game on Sunday, Butler explained why he had not taken to the court.
The 28-year-old, who is in his first season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, revealed that he asked coach Mike D'Antoni to keep him on the bench for all 48 minutes because he wanted to save himself for his side's push towards the playoffs.
"Just rest, man – I got to rest," Butler said, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, when asked why he did not play.
"I got to rest my body up. I know this Timberwolves season is very, very important to me. I've got to be ready to roll when I get back there."
Butler insists he has no regrets and enjoyed his time as a spectator.
"No, I like it," he said when asked if he missed being on the floor. "I like that competitive edge that everybody got.
"Everybody wanted to win. It makes me smile that everybody's out there competing like that. That's big time."
While some speculated Butler did not want to play after imbibing too heavily in the Los Angeles nightlife over the weekend, D'Antoni confirmed Butler's explanation.
"He was tired and he just felt like his legs weren't there," D’Antoni said via Pro Basketball Talk after Sunday's game.
"He didn't practice [Saturday] or play [Sunday]. You have to respect that. He plays hard. Sometimes your body just needs a rest."
The Timberwolves' (36-25) season resumes on Friday with a nationally televised game at Western Conference leaders the Houston Rockets (44-13).