Heat’s Jimmy Butler sends baskets to teammates, youth centers and schools around Miami, per report

A number of NBA stars have been unable to properly train as the coronavirus has them locked out of their teams’ facilities and even public basketball courts. Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo recently explained that he has no access to a hoop right now, while Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum claims to have not even touched a basketball during the NBA’s midseason hiatus. Fortunately for the Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler is making sure that his teammates won’t be so unlucky. 

Butler is sending portable hoops to all of his teammates and coaches, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. Prior to Butler’s gesture, Goran Dragic was the only Heat player with a basket at his home. Butler is currently in San Diego, where he had to set up a hoop himself, and gave other Heat players the option of receiving the baskets in either Miami or at their offseason homes. Additionally, he will donate portable hoops to a number of schools and youth centers around Miami. 

The Heat have been one of the NBA’s surprise teams this season at 41-24. They are currently sitting at No. 4 in the Eastern Conference, set for a first-round series against the Indiana Pacers if the season resumes with a somewhat normal playoff structure. If it does, the notoriously competitive Butler may have just given his team a slightly competitive advantage. If stars like Antetokounmpo and Tatum are unable to properly train during this pandemic, then there is no telling how many other players are in the same boat. If the Heat all have the proper equipment, that should give them a slight leg up if the season resumes. 

Fortunately for the league at large, players will likely have time to get back into game shape if the season does pick up again. The latest potential plan being thrown around the league would involve a 25-day training period before starting games again. That would include 11 days of private workouts followed by a two-week training camp. 

Players aren’t used to not playing games in March and April. This is the period on the schedule in which teams would typically be gearing up for postseason runs. Their bodies aren’t used to sitting at home right now, so in sending them baskets, Butler is doing what he can to prevent rust from ruining his chance at a championship. 

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