Miami Heat small forward Jimmy Butler was hit in the head with a shoe during an off-season tour in China, a now-viral video shows.
What happened: Butler, 33, was signing autographs at a promotional event in Taiyuan on Wednesday when a fan threw a shoe at his head, leaving him in apparent shock for a moment.
The NBA player, whose Miami Heat lost to the Denver Nuggets last month in the 2023 NBA Finals, was reportedly promoting his sponsor, Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning, at the event. As it turns out, he was struck by his own signature shoe.
What he’s saying: Butler, who has been documenting his tour on Instagram, did not appear to be injured by the incident. He instead took it with a light heart and even described it as the “best part” of Day 4.
“Man, what an unreal experience,” Butler says in another video. “First of all, besides getting hit in the face with a shoe, which was probably my favorite part of the whole thing.”
Social media reacts: Fans had mixed reactions to the incident, but all wished Butler well.
“Fan love was crazy. It looked like someone wanted their shoe sign, it didn’t look intentional,” one Instagram user wrote.
Another commented, “The public’s manners are terrible!”
“Remember when the reporter threw the shoe at George Bush at the new conference?” one recalled.
“Crazy crowd. You handled it well,” another noted.