Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler helped his teammate Tyus Jones get a flight so he could watch Duke take on Kentucky in the Blue Devils’ opener.
Jones, 22, was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in 2015 when he led Duke to a national championship victory. But as his former college team was set to tip off their new season, Jones struggled to find a way to get to Indiana for the Champions Classic.
This game was very meaningful to Jones. Not only did he see a great match-up between the No. 4 ranked Blue Devils and the No. 2 Wildcats, he got a chance to watch his younger brother Tre Jones play his first collegiate game. Like Tyus, Tre is a point guard for Duke.
According to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, when Butler learned that Tyus was unable to find a flight, he then reportedly chartered a private jet so he and Jones could fly to Indiana for the game.
Even though Butler later realized he was personally unable to go, he still wanted to make sure that Tyus was in the building when Tre faced Kentucky. Jones called the gesture selfless.
Butler, meanwhile, has always spoken highly of Tyus. Here is what Butler said about Jones last month (via The Score):
“I have a lot of confidence in Tyus… I know he’s going to do what’s right for the team on offense and on defense, so when we’re out there together we’re going to feed off each other… When Tyus is out there playing the right way, it trickles down.”
He joked that the Timberwolves were “Tyus’s team” in the same interview. After the point guard notched seven steals in one game last season, Butler dedicated all answers (no matter the question) to praise for Jones.
Even though Butler has been criticized for being a selfish teammate due to his recent antics amid trade rumors, stories like this are important to note as well.