Jimmy Butler optimistic he’ll be able to play in the All-Star Game

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NEW YORK—For Jimmy Butler, making his first-ever All-Star team is a product of hard work and perseverance. But there’s a chance he might have to miss the big day on Sunday. He missed the Bulls’ Thursday night win over the Cavs with a shoulder injury he suffered on Tuesday, and he’s already been forced to pull out of Saturday’s Skills Challenge.

But Butler is optimistic that he’ll be able to get on the floor during Sunday’s game, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

“I hope so,” Butler said at All-Star Media Day in New York on Friday afternoon. “I don’t want to miss the All-Star Game.”

Being selected is an honor in and of itself, especially considering Butler’s breakout season and his unlikely path to stardom. But the weekend of media events and other obligations in New York is not as fulfilling if he doesn’t get to play in the bright lights of Madison Square Garden at the culmination of the weekend. Butler said his shoulder is feeling better.

After the All-Star break, Butler doesn’t foresee himself having any issues with the shoulder. He knows there’s still work to do.

“I still have to play with a chip on my shoulder and continue to help win games and show why they chose me to be here.”