Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler Never Thought He’d Be In the NBA


We all probably know about Chicago Bulls‘ Jimmy Butler‘s past at this point, but it still bears mentioning that the shooting guard never thought he’d be here. In high school, he was homeless for a time and bounced around to various friends’ couches, but he then used a passion for basketball to eventually go to Marquette University where he was mainly a defensive player. Once he was drafted 30th overall by the Bulls, that is when he first began to truly thrive. Butler gave a wide-ranging interview with ESPN’s Scoop Jackson recently, and the wingman touched on how he didn’t think all of this would be possible.

“Listen: I’m from Tomball, Texas. No real Division I offers coming out of high school, went to junior college, no one knew who I was in junior college, [Marquette coach] Buzz Williams took a chance on me, [I] did my four years in college, and while I was there, I was undefined,” Butler said. “Also I really wasn’t a guard in college. I really didn’t shoot the ball well, I just played hard. And somehow I got drafted. And once I got here, I just worked on my game. Now I’m a 2-guard. I went from really not being able to dribble and shoot to handling the ball, making shots, getting shots for others, and that’s what I mean by, ‘I’m not supposed to be here.’ I’m not supposed to be here, like, it wasn’t in my cards therefore I have to pull a few more and trade some back in and it just popped up in there.”

The most amazing part of Butler’s transformation has been the shooting and ball handling. It isn’t typical for a young player to basically show no affinity for those type of skills, and then once he gets to the NBA level to become quite good in those areas. Obviously, Tom Thibodeau had a lot to do with Butler’s improvement. This was a coach who encouraged Derrick Rose to think “Why can’t I be the MVP?”, and Thibs had a similar effect on Jimmy.

More from Pippen Ain't Easy

It will be interesting to see how Butler navigates the next few months of the season, because he has been vocal about his teammates’ lack of effort at times so far. Also, he recently called out new head coach Fred Hoiberg for not putting the wingman back in the game against the Boston Celtics.

Butler’s increased vocal leadership has definitely been noticeable, and that is what I am keen to keep an eye on, especially if Chicago goes on another extended losing streak. It is more likely that they will continue their inconsistent play and pair losses with wins more often than not, but the Bulls need to find themselves on the offensive end of the floor for any hope of achieving playoff success. They have the personnel to get this done, so it is hard to blame the front office.

Next: Top 30 Moments In Chicago Bulls History

That means the pressure will go to either the leaders on the team or the coaching staff. I’m more inclined to point the finger at Hoiberg after watching this team excel on the defensive end while regressing offensively, but maybe Butler and company can begin their turnaround against the

New Orleans Pelicans

later today.