Jimmy Butler and Ja Morant are two stars in the NBA right now, but they have different reputations. JB is a veteran known as a tough competitor, while Morant is an exciting player leading the Memphis Grizzlies. Aside from their age and positions, one thing that is vastly different between the two is how they perceive dirty plays.
Playoff basketball or dirty plays?
The Memphis Grizzlies lost against the Golden State Warriors 4-2, but fans are left to imagine what could have been if Ja Morant stayed healthy. In Game 3, the Grizzlies star suffered a bone bruise to his right knee that forced him to miss the rest of the playoffs. The way he got injured became a hot topic online as Morant accused Jordan Poole of intentionally hurting him. Ja deleted his tweet, but it already ignited discussion if the play was dirty or not. Jordan clarified that it was just a normal basketball play, a playoff foul if you must.
All is water under the bridge now as Poole and Morant acknowledged each other on the court. Curiously, the same thing happened to Jimmy Butler against the Boston Celtics. Payton Pritchard seemed to have tripped Butler, which resulted in knee inflammation.
JB missed the rest of the game, and his availability in the following games remains up in the air. Fortunately, the Heat won the game despite missing Butler, but we’ve not heard of the same public outcry against Pritchard that Poole received. And the reason could be the injured player’s reaction.
Maturity spells the difference
Butler has been in the league long enough to know that playoff fouls are no ordinary fouls. Each team wants to win at all costs, and unfortunately, some fouls lead to injuries. The Miami Heat star didn’t tweet his reaction or accuse Pritchard of being dirty. Instead, he kept his composure which is a trait of being a leader and a veteran.
Morant has every right to argue or whine about the foul committed against him. After all, it could have altered his career if it became a major injury. Meanwhile, Jimmy Buckets decided to soldier on. It wasn’t the first time he encountered such fouls, and it won’t be the last time.
Accusing the other player of being dirty is just playing mind games against the other team. Jordan Poole escaped the penalty, and Pritchard will likely get the same treatment.
It’s interesting to see if Jimmy Butler or the Miami Heat change their stance should the forward miss the remainder of this series due to his injury.