MIAMI – It is a season that started with Jimmy Butler setting the clock.
You either were on the court during training camp at 3:30 a.m. alongside the Miami Heat’s newest leading man or you risked being viewed as some type of laggard.
So alongside rolled Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard, just as others did at AmericanAirlines Arena back before camp opened.
But now that the clock has stopped on the NBA season, during this shutdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, even Butler is beginning to wonder about the rush to roll.
“We work out early, though, man, we’re up early, we’re early,” he said of his current routine during an appearance on a “What’s In Your Glass” Instagram chat on a split screen with another veteran player, Carmelo Anthony. “But it’s crazy, though, because I normally do it so I can have the rest of my day [free]. But I can’t … so I just stay in the house for the rest of the day.
“So I might as well just work out at a later time.”
And, indeed, amid the current social distancing, there are Heat conditioning sessions at midday shared on the Zoom video-conference app with conditioning coach Eric Foran.
Otherwise, Butler said he is like many — staying safe, and very much on a routine.
“When I tell you I ain’t been doing nothing but drinking wine and working out, I mean I ain’t been doing nothing but drinking wine and working out,” said Butler, whose goal is to one day own a winery in Italy. “I’m waiting for this thing to blow over.”
The back and forth with Anthony, who is in a limbo of his own, amid his NBA return with the Portland Trail Blazers, went for more than 50 minutes, as the two sipped wine.
“I’m losing my damn mind here,” Butler said, having helped lead the Heat to a 41-24 record before the NBA suspended play on March 11.
He said training is his attempt at normalcy.
“I really don’t know why I train the way the I train,” he said. “I’ve got to work. I have to.”
Like many in the league, Butler said he also is taking advantage of extra family time, particularly with his daughter, who was born the first week of the season.
The conversation with Anthony sidetracked to how common friend Dwyane Wade helped counsel Butler after his 2017 trade from the Chicago Bulls to the Timberwolves.
Then it sidetracked even further.
Butler on his go-to choice to share a glass of wine with: “Chad Johnson, but he don’t drink. He’s easily my favorite athlete of all time, just because he was unapologetically him.”