It’s not entirely uncommon for players to attend NBA games of teams they don’t play for. But those instances are usually when a team has an off-day in a city where a game is normally taking place, save for some particularly special occasions.
What is uncommon is what Jimmy Butler did on Tuesday. After playing in Miami on Monday against the Hakws and prior to playing at home on Wednesday against the Cavs, Butler flew across the country to watch Pau Gasol’s jersey retirement ceremony.
Jimmy Butler showing love to Pau Gasol at his jersey retirement night ❤️#GraciasPau pic.twitter.com/qTl7gXoGLb— NBA (@NBA) March 8, 2023
Jimmy Butler supporting Pau Gasol on his jersey retirement night.— NBA (@NBA) March 8, 2023
Brothers ❤️#GraciasPau pic.twitter.com/f9QFNWP098
It’s an incredible gesture in its own right regardless of how long they played together or would have known each other. However, when you take into account the two spent just a pair of seasons on the same team, it further shows what type of person and teammate Pau is and was.
The two played from 2014-2016 on the Bulls, Pau’s only two seasons in Chicago. The connection the two formed, though, was clearly quite strong if Butler flew across the country to see Gasol’s jersey retirement.
It’s a recurring trend with Pau and his teammates throughout his year. Obviously, the connection with Kobe Bryant is well-known to Lakers fans. Prior to Pau’s retirement ceremony, Kyle Goon of the OC Register also wrote about the connection Pau created in one season alongside Lonnie Walker IV.
In just two seasons together, Pau was also able to build a relationship with Butler that had strong roots. Pau, though, is just that type of person, that type of teammate and one deserving of every honor that’s going to be continually thrown his way, ranging from jersey retirements to WNBA awards and Hall of Fame inductions.
There is truly only one Pau Gasol.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.