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Jimmy Butler will start in this year’s All-Star game

The “G” stands for “gets voted in by players and media”

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA will announce the NBA All-Star starting lineups tonight on TNT, but ESPN’s Chris Haynes has learned at least one starter already:

That’s right folks! Jimmy Butler, 30th pick of the 2011 draft and just a guy from Tomball, will make his first career start in the NBA All-Star game.

Butler is having a tremendous season. He’s averaging career highs in points, rebounds and assists and is carrying an otherwise blah Bulls roster that has been hot garbage without him on the court. Butler is fourth in the NBA in free throw attempts, and shoots a higher percentage from the line than the three players ahead of him.

Butler’s box score statistics have been eye popping, and the advanced metrics love him even more.

The NBA released it’s second voting returns a week ago, and it did not seem likely that Butler was destined to make the starting lineup. Jimmy was a distant fifth in Eastern Conference frontcourt players, comfortably behind LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Love and internet darling Joel Embiid.

Thankfully, the NBA has reduced the influence of the fan vote (call it the Zaza Amendment), giving fellow players and members of the NBA media a combined 50% of the weight of the vote. This means that Butler was able to leapfrog at least two of the players ahead of him in the fan vote.

This must be a very great moment for Butler. He’s never going to have the same notoriety with the casual NBA fan like his teammate Dwyane Wade has, so to be named a All-Star starter is the ultimate display of respect from his peers and the people who most closely follow the league.

The best parts of most All-Star weekends are the Saturday night festivities. The slam-dunk and three point contests are always fun to watch and often surpass the main event on Sunday night in enjoy-ability. But this year, I can’t wait to watch the All-Star game tip off and see Jimmy Butler share the court with the greatest players in the world, a status Butler has truly earned.