Jimmy Butler did not play particularly well in Game 2 of the NBA Finals until the fourth quarter. The Miami Heat still walked away with a win. It's now been seven games since he's looked like one of the best players in the NBA, allowing the sculptors a pause as they fashion the many statues that were going to be commissioned if he continued to be the second coming of Michael Jordan in the playoffs. A major part of this is the sprained right ankle he's trying to play through on the biggest of stages.
Skip Bayless, speaking on Undisputed this morning with the soon-to-be-out-of-there Shannon Sharpe, added another layer to the analysis.
"He's going through an issue with his father who is not well at the moment," Bayless said. "I think he might be a little distracted, if not a little drained, by going through that."
Bayless was sure to point out he was giving a Butler a pass for this, which is something I guess. And perhaps there's been reporting on Butler's father and potential health issues in the past, but this is certainly the loudest microphone such news has been spoken into. A few days ago Butler revealed he gave his Eastern Conference Finals MVP bauble to his dad.
There's been a lot of immediate criticism levied in Bayless' direction for sharing such information. And part of that is baked in because of how the pundit conducts his business. We'll reserve judgement if and when Butler offers any comment on this bit of commentary but there's no putting the toothpaste back in the tube now.