Tyus Jones’ younger brother, Tre, is a star freshman on the Duke basketball team this season. Duke played its first game of the 2018-19 season on Tuesday night in Indianapolis and Tyus wanted to attend.
Understandable? Certainly. What older brother wouldn’t want to go see his younger brother make his collegiate debut? Especially for the same school that Tyus won a national championship a few years prior.
The issue at hand is that the Wolves were enjoying the day off in sunny (I assume) Los Angeles, with a game against the Lakers on Wednesday night. The other issue is that it seemed the elder Jones was unprepared to make his way from California to Indiana.
In steps – who else – Jimmy Butler to save the day. Butler chartered a private plane for Jones so he could make his way to Duke’s matchup with Kentucky to see his younger brother’s debut.
UK v. Duke in Indy tonight. Tyus was looking for a flight from LA to see his brother Tre's first game. Couldn't get one to work. Jimmy Butler heard him and chartered a private jet for the two of them.
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) November 7, 2018
Now, there’s a ton to dig into here. First of all, this is just another note in the incredible Jimmy Butler saga that’s been ongoing since the report of his trade request surfaced in September. While it’s still inaccurate to say that it hasn’t been a distraction to the Wolves this season, this might prove that Butler isn’t exactly the worst teammate around, like he often may be painted.
That being said, there are questions that need to be answered.
Question 1: Why was Tyus unprepared?
Okay, so how long has this game been on the schedule? I’m not college basketball aficionado, but I have an inkling that this Duke-Kentucky game has been set in stone for some time now. It certainly wasn’t scheduled this week. I am an NBA aficionado and do know that the schedule for the Wolves has been out since August so Jones would have known he was going to be in LA at this time.
Question 2: How was he trying to originally book the flight?
I’d love to know if Jones has a preferred airline like the rest of us. When I lived in Wisconsin I typically flew Southwest, but now I’m a Delta guy living in Minneapolis. Is Jones a Delta guy? United? American? I think we need to know.
It’s also entirely possible – if not likely – he doesn’t care whatsoever what airline he flies to rack up points. Basically, his thinking is probably “anything but Spirit.” While Spirit Airlines is convenient and cheap, I get this thinking and wouldn’t fault it at all.
Jones is only listed at 6-foot-1 which is pretty normal for an American male. So he would totally fit in on a Spirit Airlines flight, but could you imagine someone like Karl-Anthony Towns at 7-foot trying to fit in a seat like that. Better yet, what about Boban Marjanović of the Clippers. That man is 7-foot-3 and nearly 300 pounds. Try and picture that!
Question 3: What was he saying as he realized that he was unable to make a flight work to and from Indianapolis?
Was this a moment where Jones was angry? Disappointed? Or was this more of an “aw shucks” moment?
Question 4: How does Butler just charter a plane for Jones?
I realize Butler has more than enough money to be able to do this, but I’m curious about the process here. Does Butler have an app on his phone that he can open up and demand a plane? Is there an Uber app for private jets? Is there someone that Jimmy calls and just has to say a couple words to have a plane ready, no questions asked? This might be what I’m most interested in.
Question 5: Why couldn’t Butler go?
Okay, this is the legitimate question here. It was reported, and later confirmed by Jones that Butler was planning on going but something came up. Let your mind question what that is.
Question 6: What does one do on a private plane alone?
I assume that since Butler couldn’t go it was only Jones on the plane. That has to get boring, doesn’t it? The commercial flight from LAX to Indianapolis is roughly four hours, which leads me to wonder what he did that entire time. Sleep is probably the correct answer here, but it’s more fun to wonder if he tried bugging the pilot or something. Also, were there flight attendants?
Question 7: This one is dependent on there actually being flight attendants on the flight. If there were, did they have to give Jones the whole safety presentation that’s given out prior to takeoff on every flight?
At least they wouldn’t have to tell Jones to put his oxygen mask over his own nose and mouth before helping others, because there would be no one else to help.
If they gave him that talk did he have to look interested? I never do, but every flight I’ve ever been on has had at least 45 people on it. I feel like if you’re alone on the plane it’s kind of rude. If I’m ignoring you giving a safety presentation, at least I know the other 45 people are too.
Final Question: Were there free snacks?
There should ALWAYS be snacks on cross country flights.