Heat Support Jimmy Butler Amid ‘Excused Absence’

Jimmy Butler, NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler was sidelined for Sunday’s game against the Boston Celtics, citing personal reasons for his absence as the NBA All-Star break nears.

The Heat shared a statement that was communicated by Butler’s agent, Bernie Lee.

“Jimmy Butler has been granted a leave of absence as he deals with the death of a family member,” the statement read. “Jimmy and his family ask for privacy at this point in time as they navigate this loss. Updates will be given when appropriate.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat Updates

Butler did not practice with the team on Friday or Saturday, but both absences were excused.

“We’re here for him,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We had two practices without him. We’re grateful we were able to have two practices at this time of the year. We needed to work through some things. Obviously, we’re playing a quality opponent today, and we’re looking forward to that.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat Updates

Butler has averaged 21.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 37 games this season. He’s shooting 50.0 percent from the floor, 44.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 86.9 percent on free throws.

The Heat are set to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, marking the start of a season-long six-game road trip that extends through the end of February.

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