Jimmy Butler on Chris Paul Altercation: 'Don't Need Friends Here in the Bubble'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 14, 2020

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler waits between plays during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

Jimmy Butler and Chris Paul are two of the NBA's most intense competitors, so it's not a surprise they were involved in an altercation during the Oklahoma City Thunder's 116-115 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday. 

Butler ran over Paul while driving to the basket late in the second quarter after Paul threw the ball off Duncan Robinson's head on an earlier possession as he was falling out of bounds. 

Appearing on ESPN's The Jump (h/t Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel), Butler has no regrets about his actions: "I don't care. I don't need friend here in the bubble."

Immediately after the game, Butler told reporters he was defending Robinson in the moment.

"You're not gonna throw the ball at my teammate like that," he said. "We don't do that here. You mess with one of my guys, especially one of my shooters, then you gotta deal with me and everybody else."

Even though Butler was unhappy with the situation, the plays made by Paul did help the Thunder win the game. Oklahoma City gained possession when the ball was thrown off Robinson, and Butler was called for an offensive foul against Paul. 

The Thunder did have to outscore Miami 34-15 in the fourth quarter, capped off by Mike Muscala's two three-pointers in the final 35 seconds, to get the victory.

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Butler only played 16 minutes in the game, finishing with seven points on 2-of-3 shooting.