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Jimmy Butler's life and NBA career have had many ups and downs

15 things you didn’t know about Jimmy Butler's NBA career

Jimmy Butler is one of the hardest-working NBA players. His career got off to a slow start, but the swingman has become a true superstar over the past few years, leading the Miami Heat to two NBA Finals appearances.

Butler's work ethic is impressive. He was abandoned by his parents when he was a child, but it didn't get in his way to stardom. In 2023, Jimmy is a cold-blooded shooter who is arguably the best playoff performer in the league.


Here are some things you didn't know about his NBA career.

#1 - Jimmy Butler was not a great prospect

Butler wasn't a great prospect (Image via Getty Images)

Butler was selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. His career began with the Chicago Bulls, where he eventually became one of the most improved players in the league.


You may be interested in reading: Jimmy Butler Draft: Boston Celtics missed on picking 6x All-Star in 2011 NBA draft

Before getting drafted into the league, almost every scout believed that Butler's ceiling was a role player. He was considered a decent all-around player, but not good enough to be a starter.

#2 - Cheating rumors in Minnesota


Jimmy Butler did not get along with his teammates in Minnesota. The veteran swingman spent one season with the Timberwolves but requested a trade early in his second season.


There were rumors that Butler hooked up with Karl-Anthony Towns' girlfriend, which reportedly caused the rift between the two players.

#3 - Tough childhood


Jimmy Butler's parents were not very supportive of their son. Butler's father abandoned the family shortly after Jimmy was born, while his mother kicked him out of the house when he was 13.

Despite this, the basketball player has worked hard and didn't let his personal problems affect him. He's forgiven his parents and takes good care of them.

#4 - Olympic gold medal


Many NBA fans don't remember this, but Jimmy Butler is a gold medalist. He was with the United States men's Olympic basketball team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Butler appeared in all eight games, averaging 14.4 minutes and scoring 5.6 points per game. Kyle Lowry, Butler's teammate in Miami, was also on the team.

#5 - Exhaustion in the 2020 NBA Finals


The Miami Heat faced the LA Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals. They lost in six games, but Jimmy Butler did everything he could to win a pair of games.

In Game 5, Miami avoided elimination with a 111-108 victory. Butler played 47 minutes and had a triple-double with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. After the game, he was so tired that he struggled to walk to the locker room.

#6 - Love for country music


Most NBA players seem to be into hip-hop, but Jimmy Butler is different. The Heat superstar loves country music and he's talked about it many times in the past.

Butler usually listens to country songs before games and uses them to warm up. An odd choice, for sure, but it's worked out for him.

#7 - Expensive wine collection


Playing in the NBA comes with its perks. Butler is a big fan of wine, and his wine collection is worth more than $200,000. According to the Heat star, he has between 500 and 600 bottles of Sassicaia 2010, his favorite wine.

One bottle of this wine is worth more than $500, which makes Butler's stash very valuable.

#8 - The coffee business


We all know Jimmy Butler as a basketball player, but he's also a businessman. During the coronavirus lockdown in 2020, Butler launched his own coffee business, Big Face Coffee.

It all began with Butler charging $20 for a cup of coffee in the NBA bubble. A year later, he founded a company and turned his side hustle into a real business.

#9 - No points scored in his first playoff run

Butler's career got off to a slow start (Image via Getty Images)

Drafted by the Chicago Bulls, Jimmy Butler did not get a lot of chances to show what he was capable of in his rookie season. During the regular season, Butler averaged only 2.6 points per game.

Butler appeared in three playoff games in his rookie campaign, logging only four minutes and scoring no points.

#10 - Rumors about Rachel Nichols


There were rumors that Jimmy Butler and Rachel Nichols, a journalist who worked for ESPN at the time, hooked up during the NBA bubble. However, there is no evidence that this happened.

Despite the lack of evidence, some fans believe that the Heat star was involved with Nichols. Even Karl-Anthony Towns teased Butler about the former ESPN employee.

#11 - Friendship with Jordan Leslie


The Heat star is a close friend of Jordan Leslie, a former NFL player. The two met in high school, and since Butler was homeless at the time, Leslie's family allowed him to move in.

The wide receiver played for several teams during his four-year NFL career, including the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos.

#12 - Butler's high school rank


Jimmy Butler played basketball for Tomball High School in Texas. However, he was only ranked 73rd in the state coming out of high school and didn't have many options when it came to college basketball.

Butler played one year for Tyler Junior College but was eventually recruited by the Marquette Golden Eagles.

#13 - Improvement at Marquette


In his first year at Marquette, Jimmy Butler did not become a star. Similar to his NBA career, the basketball player had a slow start, but he eventually improved and became dominant.

Butler spent three years with the Golden Eagles, improving his scoring average from 5.6 to 15.7 points per game. His great performances improved his draft stock as he was a projected late second-round pick before the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

#14 - Friendships with soccer stars


Jimmy Butler's NBA career has given him a chance to meet some of the other world-class athletes. During the 2016 Summer Olympics, the basketball veteran met Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe, becoming friends with them.

Since then, Butler has become a big fan of soccer and Paris Saint-Germain, a French soccer team the two players play for.

#15 - The third-stringers victory


Butler wasn't too happy with his teammates on the Minnesota Timberwolves. At one point, the star player beat Timberwolves starters with the third-stringers, telling general manager Scott Layden to pay him.

You may be interested in reading: Who are Jimmy Butler's parents Jimmy Butler II and Londa Butler? Taking a closer look at Heat star's personal life

Shortly after the practice, Butler requested a trade. He was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers shortly after.

Edited by
Asmir Pekmic
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