In early September, Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat stated that he was there for “business and business only.”
“I’m not god-given talent…not the best shooter…not the best ball handler. Not the most athletic…not the fastest. But I battle and fight. I’m tough as sh*t and I don’t back down. There goes my talent for you. I ain’t scared of nobody.”
Growing up outside of Houston, Texas, Butler had a difficult childhood. His father left them when Jimmy was only an infant; then, at 13, his mother kicked him out. He bounced between friends’ houses for several years before being taken in by his friend, Jordan Leslie.
As a junior at Tomball High School in Tomball, Texas, Jimmy Butler averaged 10 points per game. As a senior team captain the following year, he averaged 19.9 points per game and 8.7 rebounds. Butler spent two seasons on varsity and only one as a starter, gaining him little attention from recruiters. He spent his freshman year of college at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, averaging 18.1 points per game and 3.1 assists. Butler’s lone season at Junior College, however, did earn him the attention he was looking for from D1 schools.
Butler was a two-star recruit by 247SPORTS and was unranked by Rivals and ESPN. He managed to earn an athletic scholarship to Marquette for his sophomore season, where he averaged 18.1 points per game. He played his final three seasons at Marquette, where they earned their fifth consecutive NCAA “March Madness” appearance.
A long journey to the NBA came to fruition on draft night 2011, when the Chicago Bulls drafted Butler with the final pick of the first round.
His rookie season came during the lockout-shortened season, where Butler appeared in 42 of the 66 games. The next year, he played all 82 games of the regular season and started all 12 postseason games. Jimmy earned the nickname “Jimmy Buckets” from LeBron James himself.
Throughout his miraculous journey, Jimmy has played for four teams in the NBA. He’s played in the All-Star Game five times and earned most improved player in 2015.
A Jimmy Butler led Miami Heat team currently find themselves up 2-0 on the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.