Jimmy Butler chartered flight for Tyus Jones so he could see his brother, Tre, make Duke debut against Kentucky

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4912/" data-ylk="slk:Jimmy Butler">Jimmy Butler</a> flew <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/5484/" data-ylk="slk:Tyus Jones">Tyus Jones</a> to Indianapolis on Tuesday night so he could watch his brother make his Duke debut against Kentucky and still make it back in time for their game on Wednesday. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler flew Tyus Jones to Indianapolis on Tuesday night so he could watch his brother make his Duke debut against Kentucky and still make it back in time for their game on Wednesday. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Tyus Jones desperately wanted to watch his little brother, Tre, make his collegiate debut on Tuesday night.

Tre and No. 4 Duke was set to kick off the new season against No. 2 Kentucky at the Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, one of two premier matchups there on Tuesday night.

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There was just one problem: Tyus was stuck on the other end of the country.

The Minnesota Timberwolves guard was in Los Angeles on an off night between games against the Clippers and the Lakers at the Staples Center. He had searched for flights to get him to the game, but couldn’t find any that worked to get him back in Los Angeles in time for Wednesday’s game.

Jimmy Butler, though, decided to step in.

Butler chartered a private flight for the two of them, so that Tyus could head directly to Indianapolis and back. Butler, though, backed out last minute. Instead of cancelling the trip all together, Butler sent Tyus by himself on the flight.


“That’s my guy,” Tyus said of Butler on ESPN during the first half of the game. “Very selfless. He was actually supposed to be here, but something came up. He told me to go anyways.”

Tyus, who played at Duke himself in 2014-15, didn’t just get to watch a simple game thanks to Butler’s gesture. He got a show, too.

While Tre finished with just six points and six assists, he helped facilitate a massive 118-84 win over the Wildcats — thanks to a dominant showing from Duke’s trio of freshman R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cameron Reddish, who dropped 33 points, 28 points and 22 points, respectively.

“It’s crazy,” Tyus said on ESPN. “I’m used to having the Duke jersey on. So to see Tre out there with the Duke jersey on, that’s special.”

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