NBA Mandates That Jimmy Butler ‘Speak Up And Dribble’

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.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. Hey Gary,
    “I’ve learned enough times in life that saying something is completely different than acting upon it.”
    Something Jimmy Butler was quoted as saying.
    Sounds like his “no message” jersey spoke very loudly to those who have ears to hear.
    Unfortunately, Adam Silver can’t – more probably won’t – hear.

  2. “Speak Up and Dribble”…

    LOVE IT, Gary! Thanks for another great article.

    And I gotta say, it’s fantastic being an Outkick VIP. To see and hear there are soo many of us out here – not subject to TWTR, FB, GOOG, youtube censorship – still able to think and speak intelligently is PRICELESS. The 1st Amendment Lives On…


    THANK YOU to Clay and everyone in the Outkick Family!!
    This is the start of something massively life changing and America Saving…

  3. What better way to express yourself by choosing from our ready-made slogans? Butler felt he could expresss himself by not wearing a slogan but found out he is not approved to do so. These players thought they were going toward more freedoms. Not so fast my friend. I hope Jimmy Butler does what Jimmy Butler does and becomes a real pest to his leadership.

  4. Kind of like obama-care. it’s optional but there’s a penalty if you don’t take it. and as an aside, this sort of compelled speech is right out of the Marxist playbook.

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