Before the beginning of last season, people only knew Jimmy Butler as the kid drafted by the Chicago Bulls out of Marquette as their 30th pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Some ESPN analysts knew about his credentials and his accolades during his three years at Marquette, but even then, I guarantee most of their notes came from their scouting reports so that when his name was picked, they’d have something to say about him. Fast forward 2 years later, and opinions have changed through the roof. But before I get into that, let’s figure out who is Jimmy Butler? Who’s this guy from Marquette?
Jimmy Butler grew up in Tomball, Texas, a place with a population of less than 11k. But his story is very unique in a way that it pulls you in and you don’t want to let go.
He learned about adversity at a very young age. According to an interview conducted by ESPN.com in 2011, Butler was abandoned by his mother at the age of 13.
“I don’t like the look of you. You gotta go.” Those were the last words he recalls hearing from her before she kicked him out.
Most teenagers at that age aren’t worried about where their next meal is going to come from or where they will lay their head at night? At 13 I was having fun being a kid, but Jimmy did not have that luxury. He had to stay a float and find a way to keep his head above water. And he did that with basketball.
Basketball became his life and it kept him focus. Butler became a star for the Tomball High School Cougars. As a team captain his senior season, he averaged 19.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and was named to the all-district first team.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to garner some attention from colleges he hoped. Since he did not play AAU and wasn’t ranked, he didn’t get much exposure and as a last resort, he signed with Tyler Junior College. He scored 34 points in his first conference game.
Butler was a NJCAA Honorable Mention All-America selection at Tyler Junior College in 2007-08 after averaging 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He then transferred to Marquette University after one year, and averaged 5.6 ppg his first year at MU. He earned the starting role the following year averaging 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and earned All-Big East Honorable Mention honors.
He was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 2011 as the 30th pick. In his first season with the Bulls, he avg 2.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg and played in 42 games. His role was very limited that first year, but after Chicago Bulls star and MVP Derrick Rose got hurt in the first round of the playoffs, Butler’s role grew immensely.
During his second year, Butler was added to the starting line up to fill in while Rose was rehabilitating a torn ACL/MCL. At that point, he was no longer just a fill in, he was a rising star. He started all 82 games, averaged 8.6 ppg and 4.0 rpg.
Although Butler increased his stats from his rookie season to his sophomore season, he had his coming out party during the playoffs, where he averaged 13.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg and logged an amazing 40 minutes per game.
Jimmy Butler is definitely becoming a huge asset to the Chicago Bulls. Coach Tom Thibodeau announced his starters for the upcoming season and Jimmy Butler is listed as the starting SG. As a Bulls fan, I’m excited. I like the change and I believe it will allow us to go big, but be very quick at the same time. I’m anxious to see Jimmy Butler get better each day and I know he will do a great job. He has the intangibles to be an all star and with Coach Thibs leading the troops, the sky is not the limit for him and this team.
Written By: @yagirltee