Since Butler has come into the league, he has been one of the most dominant two-way players in the NBA on both ends of the floor. Jimmy has proved this time and time again and with his current deep run into the playoffs, and his birthday, what better time to dive into some potentially unknown facts about Jimmy Butler.
1. Jimmy grew up homeless
Over the years we’ve heard some great against all odds stories, but little can compare to Jimmy Butlers. Jimmy was born on September 14th, 1989. Just after Jimmy was born, Jimmy’s father abandoned the family leaving Jimmys care to his now single mother. However, at the age of 13, Jimmys mom kicked Jimmy out of the house. This ultimately lead to Jimmy bouncing from friends house to friends house and foster home to foster home until he was a senior in high school.
2. Jimmy was lightly recruited in Highschool
After being his highschool teams MVP his senior season, things were finally looking bright for Jimmy. In his high school MVP season, Jimmy averaged 19.9 points per game and an impressive 8.7 rebounds per game. Despite these stats and his status as team MVP and captain, Jimmy was ranked only 1253rd in his recruiting class and was ranked 226th in Junior College prospect rankings.
3. College Struggles
After Jimmy’s high school basketball career, Jimmy had a brief year-long stint at Tyler Junior College, which is a community college in Tyler, Texas. During his time at Tyler, Jimmy averaged 18.1 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game, and 3.1 assists per game. These stats were enough to get Jimmy placed as a two-star recruit which helped land him an athletic scholarship to Marquette University. During his time at Marquette, Jimmy had some future NBA teammates, most notably, Wesley Mathews, and Jae Crowder. Both of which were recently involved, one alongside, and one against Jimmy in the recent Bucks-Heat playoff matchup.
4. Jimmy to Houston?
Despite Jimmy’s tough childhood, there was one thing that helped Jimmy through it all. Butler, 31, grew up in Tomball, Texas, roughly 30 miles outside of Houston. Throughout Jimmys childhood, he idolized Tracy Mcgrady. Watching Mcgrady play is what helped Jimmy realize he wanted to play NBA basketball. Jimmy wanted to become a Rocket, just like Mcgrady. In addition to being a huge Tracy Mcgrady fan, Butler grew to love the city of Houston, When Jimmy grew to play pro sports, he wanted it to be for Houston. Although this has yet to happen, and with Jimmys major success in Miami, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
5. The infamous Timberwolves Practice
After Jimmys years with Chicago came to an end, Jimmy was dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal that included Zach Lavine, Khris Dunn, and the No. 7 overall pick (Lauri Markkanen). During Jimmys time with the Timberwolves, he helped break the franchises 14 year playoff drought. After losing to the Rockets in the first round, things began to fall apart. All summer, Jimmys relationship with the Wolves deteriorated. This was a result of Jimmy being unhappy with the work ethic of players in Minnesota among other factors. This dissatisfaction lead to the climax of the Jimmy Butler Saga when Jimmy Butler, alongside the third string Timberwolves personel, took on the starters in a scrimmage. To everyones surprise, The starters were defeated. To top it off, Jimmy claims he only shot the ball once, “I only shot the ball one time, I only shot the ball once” Jimmy claims, Oh I was dominating, but I only shot the ball once. Dimes, boom, boom, boom. Steals, blocks. I only shot the ball one time.” This now infamous scrimmage was the final straw for Butler, his wishes to be traded became public only days before training camp. Butler was finally dealt to Philadelphia on November 12th, 2018.