Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler’s attempt to play Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets with a blank jersey was given the Mutombo finger wag by the NBA. The Association has bragged about its 29 different options for use on the back of a jersey, but failed to give a logical explanation as to why Butler couldn’t make his jersey about basketball.
Butler left his jersey blank.
He gave up playing for a personal brand or social media applause to focus on the sport. Commissioner Adam Silver and his unwillingness to allow Butler the business-like attire shows that the NBA needs players making statements that China will approve of, not gestures the players have genuinely thought out.
Its refusal to allow players to deviate from approved statements gives off an unauthentic message to our underserved communities here in the United States, and oversees. Adam Silver won’t let players think for themselves and risk media coverage for inexplicable decisions they plan to continue.
Jimmy Butler hasn’t decided if he plans on giving the “blank jersey” a go ever again, but we can bet a private conversation will be forthcoming, trying to convince him to play nice for Chinese TV deals and endorsements.