Erik Spoelstra on Jimmy Butler Not Being an All-Star Starter: 'It's a Joke'

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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is not happy that swingman Jimmy Butler is not starting in the 2020 All-Star Game, calling his star's omission from the initial lineup "a joke."

"I just think it's ridiculous that we're still in these antiquated positions," Spoelstra said before Friday night's game against Clippers. "So who's to say what position Jimmy is? Does it matter? I put him No. 2 on my [lineup] card. So I go Kendrick Nunn, Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, I go Bam [Adebayo] and then Meyers [Leonard]. But you could flip any one of those guys around. And in many ways he's our point guard. So should he be in the All-Star Game as a point guard? I don't know.

"These are such antiquated labels that I feel like we've moved on from that years ago when we started talking about positionless [players]. But either way, regardless of how you want to label it or discuss it, Jimmy Butler should be a starter in this All-Star Game. It's a joke that he's not. Hopefully this will change things in the future."

Butler finished fourth in the weighted score (4.25) that determined frontcourt starters. He was voted fourth by the fans, sixth by the players and third by the media. The All-Star voting process consists of 50% of the vote coming from fans, 25% coming from a media panel and 25% from players.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam were named the East's frontcourt starters instead of Butler. Trae Young and Kemba Walker were named starters at the guard positions. 

Butler joined the Heat this summer in a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The four-time NBA All-Defensive Team honoree and two-time All-NBA third-team swingman is averaging 20.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game this season. 

The Heat entered Friday night's action with a 31-13 record, second-best in the conference. They are also 20-1 at home at AmericanAirlines Arena.

All-Star reserves chosen by the coaches from each conference will be announced next Thursday. The All-Star draft will then take place on Feb. 6, with LeBron James and Antetokounmpo drafting the starters and then the reserves. The All-Star Game is Feb. 16 at the United Center in Chicago.