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Tossed Out Jimmy Butler Laughs Off Referee’s Harsh Call in Intense Pelicans Battle

Published 02/23/2024, 10:26 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

With the All-Star Weekend having concluded a few days ago, the NBA regular season seems to be back in full swing. The Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans are faced off against each other at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. With the game in its fourth quarter and both teams being almost neck to neck in points, fans expected tensions to be high. Not many of them, however, were prepared for what was about to happen.

Miami Heat star player Jimmy Butler was ejected, and soon after, he was “cracking up on the sideline”. The incident occurred after Kevin Love reportedly fouled Williamson, resulting in the latter falling on the court. Pelicans’ small forward Naji Marshall came to his teammates’ aid and got face-to-face with Butler. Marshall was reportedly seen lunging at the Heat player’s neck after a not-so-pleasant discussion occurred between the two on the sidelines.

The action by Marshall resulted in an all-out altercation between various members of both respective teams. Once the fight was broken up, the referee chose to take some action into his own hands. Along with Butler, the referee ejected Marshall, Jose Alvarado, and Thomas Bryant as well.

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Butler’s night came to a conclusion after the player had scored 23 points, 6 assists, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block. Being on the court for only 27 minutes, the score was an impressive one. While this incident was not something that fans were expecting from the player after his extended three-game absence, they would not blame him for not making a worthwhile contribution to today’s game.

Butler is currently in his fifth year with the team and going strong. Out of his 37 games during the current season, the player has managed to maintain an average of 21.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. Despite his contributions, however, the Heat are currently sitting as the 8 seed on the Eastern Conference points table. The pressure is high to do well, which the player may not have taken well.

Jimmy Butler was once fined for “attempting to escalate” an already tense situation

Today’s altercation was not the first time that Jimmy Butler has gotten into trouble due to his actions. People who might have watched his game against the Denver Nuggets back in November 2021 clearly know that.

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It all occurred during the fourth quarter when Heat forward Markieff Morris reportedly ended up fouling Nikola Jokic through an elbow on the side. Jokic retaliated by hitting Morris with a shoulder barge, leading the player to fall on the court. As the Nuggets player took his seat on the bench, Butler could be reportedly seen being furious and looking to barge his way over to start an altercation again. Jokic was ejected for his actions, suspended and fined $25,000. At the same time, Morris was also ejected and handed a $50,000 fine.

Butler also got the consequences of the action he took in the heat of the moment, receiving a fine of $30,000 for “attempting to escalate the altercation”.

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USA Today via Reuters

Given Butler’s status with the team, fans are hoping that the recent incident does not turn into a proper suspension. Only time will tell what happens next.

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Written by:

Ashmit Kumar

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Ashmit is an NBA Content Analyst at EssentiallySports. Having started as a writer, he specializes in writing captivating stories that include the elements of in-depth coverage of teams, players and more. Due to his knowledge of the technicalities of the sport, Ashmit writes perspective pieces that provide well-researched analysis.
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Edited by:

Vishav