Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler has lost over 12 pounds in one week according to Ethan Skolnick of the Five on the Floor podcast. Skolnick insinuates– but does not confirm — that Butler’s disturbing weight loss was due to contracting COVID-19, not just sitting out due to contact tracing.
Either way, the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols have kept Butler out since January 9. The five-time All-Star appeared on the Heat bench for the first time in weeks on January 27, and while it was great to see Butler sitting alongside his teammates, “He looks a little lighter,” Skolnick says.
“He lost more than a dozen pounds in roughly a week,” Skolnick continues. “Again, everybody can read in to that how they like. The good news is that Jimmy is back. The worst is over.”
Good to see Jimmy Butler at least back with his Heat teammates on the bench. pic.twitter.com/9AJLeJTexg
— Will Manso (@WillManso) January 28, 2021
It’s hasn’t gone unnoticed that Butler kept out longer than his other teammates who were also forced to sit out earlier this month due to COVID-19 contact tracing, which led many to believe that the team’s star actually contracted coronavirus.
Jimmy Butler has lost a lot of weight man. Hopefully he can put it back on pretty quickly. Glad he’s good though 🙏🏾
— Chris (@DaRuffWay_) January 28, 2021
I hope that video of Jimmy Butler is misleading, or that it’s not him. He looks like he has dropped hella weight, and he’s barely played this season
— II (@MrQUALLified) January 28, 2021
Jimmy Butler losing all that weight from COVID is making me look at the NBA way different now.
I’m not sure I’m gonna keep watching
— Silas P. Silas (@Kenny16Techs) January 28, 2021
Jimmy Butler looks really sick I’m worried about him he’s losing a ton of weight sheesh
— Jan14th ..INTERGALACTIC_Juggernaut (@WALLA_MAJIC) January 28, 2021
Regardless of how or why COVID-19 kept Butler on the bench, the 31-year-old hasn’t played a game in weeks, and the Heat have struggled to find a way to win without him starting. On January 28, there was hope Butler would be able to suit up after being upgraded to questionable earlier in the day, but the Heat’s 5:30 p.m. ET injury report dashed those hopes.
While Butler has been able to return to practice, he was listed as out for the team’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Heat’s next game is against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, January 30.
Butler’s Teammate Avery Bradley Opened Up About His COVID-19 Diagnosis
Miami Heat guard Avery Bradley spoke out for the first time since he contracted COVID-19 earlier this month. While appearing on Posted Up with Chris Haynes Podcast on January 25, the 30-year-old admitted that he was angry about catching coronavirus at work despite following every one of the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Bradley was among eight Heat players sent home to quarantine after exposure to the coronavirus earlier in January.
The diagnosis was especially tough since Bradley, who spent last season playing with the Los Angeles Lakers, opted out of playing in the NBA bubble out of concern for his family’s health amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Bradley said on Monday, “To be honest, I was upset because I come to work and I do the right things, I come to work every single day and do all the protocols to make sure I’m protected so I can protect my family. To come up with the news knowing that I got it at work, I was a little frustrated to be honest. I was frustrated because I felt like it compromised my family’s safety.”
Posted Up w/ C. Haynes Pod: Heat’s Avery Bradley on testing positive for COVID-19, health & safety protocol process, return date, gift received from LAL, bond w/ Kyrie Irving & being on Lakers’ plane when Kobe Bryant died
🎧: https://t.co/Z5RBJzvfVE pic.twitter.com/mNz2Iypfb6
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 25, 2021
Bradley’s main concern was for his wife, Ashley Bradley, and their three children, especially their eldest son, Liam, 7, who suffers from respiratory issues. After Bradley tested positive for COVID-19, the 6-foot-2 defensive star was relieved that he didn’t pass coronavirus on to his family.
“I felt a lot better knowing my family was safe and no one had it,” Bradley said. “My family got tested two times in a row to make sure they were fine. I was able to come home and be in our little guest area and see my kids and my wife through a window, which was frustrating.”
He told Haynes that he did have some symptoms and “the first few days were a little rough.”
Heat Veteran Udonis Haslem Said NBA’s New COVID-19 Rules Feels Like Prison
Udonis Haslem sparked a heated debate on Twitter after discussing the downside of NBA’s new COVID-19 protocols with ESPN‘s Kevin Arnovitz on January 27.
While the Heat has been particularly ravaged by coronavirus this month, playing with nearly half the roster out due to either COVID-19 health and safety protocols or injuries, for the players now cleared to play, like Haslem, life on the road is not what it used to be.
The 40-year-old power forward noted that the NBA’s newly implemented stricter rules are affecting the player’s mental health, which as a result, is also affecting how they play on the court.
“I don’t think locking up in a room for 24 hours just coming out to play basketball is mentally healthy,” Haslem told Arnovitz. “I need to go out and take a walk because there are things that can pile up that have nothing to do with the game of basketball. And you’re saying that I can’t even go take a walk? I don’t think that’s right. Even in the bubble, you can go take a walk and get some fresh air.”
On Twitter, Haslem’s comments sparked an intense debate. While one person commented, “facts. i couldn’t even go to store when i was on a road trip with a team,” most users online found his comments distasteful.
Referring to the tragic death of NBA Digital senior analyst Sekou Smith, who died on January 26 at age 48 from complications of coronavirus, one person tweeted, “an NBA broadcast legend just died from covid yesterday and he found this to be an appropriate time for this take?”
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