‘So much love’: Heat star Jimmy Butler prepares to play after cheering on young fan

Heat star Jimmy Butler went viral after Miami’s game against Boston on Tuesday, but not for anything he did during a game.

A 12-year-old Argentine fan, holding a sign saying he traveled more than 4,400 miles to see Butler play the Celtics on Tuesday, was caught on video crestfallen after learning the veteran forward was pulled from the game with a problem in his the lower back. oppression.

“Honestly, I was devastated,” Butler said Thursday. “I don’t want to miss the games. I do not.”

But the Heat quickly changed Felipe’s frown. The team brought him onto the field at halftime and he took a photo with forward Gabe Vincent. The team also gave him a signed Butler jersey and other items. After the game, Butler met with Felipe and his family.

“It was great, man,” Butler said. “Felipe and his sister Zoe, it’s amazing to know that I have fans like this all over the world who fly 4,405 miles to see me shoot a basketball. So much love, and I’m glad I could put a smile on their faces.”

Butler said he enjoyed spending time with the young fan and his family.

“He’s a huge basketball fan,” Butler said. “He plays basketball himself. He actually does everything. He skateboards, he surfs, he’s an amazing kid. So I’m glad we can spend some time together.”

For his part, Vincent said he was unaware of Felipe’s circumstances at the time. He just saw a boy crying on the court and wanted to try to cheer him up.

“It was great,” Vicente said. “I honestly didn’t know what was going on. I just saw him on the field. I saw him crying, crying. I didn’t know if they were tears of joy or tears of sadness, so I just jumped in, asked if they wanted to take a picture, and I made a movie and found out later after the game.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the series of events shows Butler and the other Heat players know how important the fans are to the team.

“It’s great because our guys and Jimmy understand what drives this business, and that’s the fans and the people who really enjoy players competing, playing at a high level, things they can’t do,” Spoelstra said. “That was a very genuine moment. And Jimmy as a belated scratch: this is not one of these load management things. He physically he couldn’t go. He was doing everything he could to get out and all of a sudden he found out about it and one way or another he was going to create a lifelong experience and memory for the boy and the family.”

Any other fans traveling long distances to see Butler, who has missed 15 games this season, play Orlando on Friday is in luck. Butler said his back was feeling better and he would be in the lineup against the Magic.

“I’m much better,” Butler said. “I’m playing tomorrow. That’s all that matters. And I’ll be ready to go for the long haul.”


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