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Jimmy Butler (basketball)

Jimmy Butler
No. 21 – Chicago Bulls
Position Shooting guard / Small forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1989-09-14) September 14, 1989 (age 26)
Houston, Texas
Nationality American
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Career information
High school Tomball (Tomball, Texas)
College Tyler JC (2007–2008)
Marquette (20082011)
NBA draft 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 30th overall
Selected by the Chicago Bulls
Pro career 2011–present
Career history
2011–present Chicago Bulls
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Jimmy Butler III (born September 14, 1989) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born in Houston, Butler grew up in Tomball, Texas and played college basketball for Tyler Junior College and Marquette University. He was drafted with the 30th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Bulls. In 2014–15, he was named an NBA All-Star and the Most Improved Player.

Early years

Before the 2011 draft, one NBA general manager said about Butler, "His story is one of the most remarkable I've seen in all my years of basketball. There were so many times in his life where he was set up to fail. Every time, he overcame just enormous odds. When you talk to him — and he's hesitant to talk about his life — you just have this feeling that this kid has greatness in him."[1]

Butler's father abandoned the family when he was an infant. By the time he was 13 years old and living in the Houston suburb of Tomball, his mother kicked him out of the house. As Butler remembered it in a 2011 interview, she told him, "I don't like the look of you. You gotta go." He then bounced between the homes of various friends, staying for a few weeks at a time before moving to another house.[1]

In a summer basketball league before his senior year at Tomball High School, he was noticed by Jordan Leslie, a freshman football and basketball player at the school, who challenged him to a three-point shooting contest. The two immediately became friends, and Butler began staying at Leslie's house. Although his friend's mother and stepfather, who had six other children between them, were reluctant at first, they took him in within a few months. Butler would later say, "They accepted me into their family. And it wasn't because of basketball. She [Michelle Lambert, Leslie's mother] was just very loving. She just did stuff like that. I couldn't believe it.[1]

As a junior at Tomball High, Butler averaged 10 points per game. As a senior and team captain in 2006–07, Butler averaged 19.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and was subsequently voted his team's most valuable player.

Butler was not heavily recruited coming out of high school and chose to attend Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas.

College career

After his freshman season at Tyler, where he averaged 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, Butler gained interest from Division I programs. Considered a two-star recruit by,[2] he was listed as the No. 127 junior college prospect in 2008.[3]

Butler accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Marquette, where, as a sophomore in the 2008–09 season, he averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, and recorded a free-throw percentage of .768. Butler moved into the starting lineup as a junior during the 2009–10 season and averaged 14.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, and earned All-Big East Honorable Mention honors. His season was highlighted by two game-winning shots vs. UConn and St. John's, helping Marquette finish 11-7 in the Big East and earn its 5th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. As a senior in 2010–11, he averaged 15.7 points per game and earned All-Big East Honorable Mention for the second straight year.

College statistics

2008–09 Marquette 35 0 19.6 .514 .000 .768 3.9 .7 .5 .5 5.6
2009–10 Marquette 34 34 34.3 .530 .500 .766 6.4 2.0 1.3 .6 14.7
2010–11 Marquette 37 35 34.6 .490 .345 .783 6.1 2.3 1.4 .4 15.7
Career[4] 106 69 29.6 .508 .383 .773 5.5 1.7 1.1 .5 12.0

Professional career

Chicago Bulls

Butler was selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls.[5] On December 9, 2011, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Bulls.[6] During the lockout-shortened season, he appeared in 42 games all off the bench as he averaged 2.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in 2011–12.

In July 2012, Butler joined the Bulls for the 2012 NBA Summer League where he averaged 20.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. On October 30, 2012, the Bulls exercised their third-year team option on Butler's rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2013–14 season.[7] Despite a strong summer league showing, Butler saw little playing time for the first part of the 2012–13 season. When Butler's teammate Luol Deng, the NBA's leader that year in minutes per game, suffered an injury prior to the January 19 game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Butler was finally able to start, and played all but 17 seconds in his first NBA start, recording 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.[8] He continued to play at least 40 minutes in the Bulls' next four games, with 43, 46, 44 and 45 minutes played against the Lakers, Pistons, Warriors and Wizards, respectively.[9] On April 9, 2013, Butler scored a then career-high 28 points, starting in place of the injured Deng, in a 98-101 loss to the Toronto Raptors.[10] By the end of the 2012–13 season, Butler had become a staple of the Bulls' rotation, averaging 40.8 minutes per game in the postseason in just his second year in the NBA.

On October 30, 2013, the Bulls exercised their fourth-year team option on Butler's rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2014–15 season.[11] On January 15, 2014, Butler set a Bulls franchise record for minutes played in one game by logging 60 minutes in a triple overtime victory over the Orlando Magic.[12] On June 2, 2014, he was named to the NBA All-Defensive second team.[13]

On November 25, 2014, Butler tied a career-high 32 points in a 109-114 loss to the Denver Nuggets.[14] On December 3, 2014, he was named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for games played in October/November.[15] He went on to score a new career-high of 35 points in the 103-97 win over the New York Knicks on December 18, 2014.[16]

On January 29, 2015, Butler was named a reserve for the Eastern Conference in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game.[17] On March 2, 2015, he was ruled out for three to six weeks with a left elbow injury.[18] He returned to action on March 23 against the Charlotte Hornets, recording 19 points and 9 rebounds in a 98-86 win.[19] On April 20, Butler set a playoff career-high for the second straight game with 31 points, as the Bulls defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 91-82 to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.[20] On May 7, he was named the Most Improved Player for the 2014–15 season.[21]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

2011–12 Chicago 42 0 8.5 .405 .182 .768 1.3 .3 .3 .1 2.6
2012–13 Chicago 82 20 26.0 .467 .381 .803 4.0 1.4 1.0 .4 8.6
2013–14 Chicago 67 67 38.7 .397 .283 .769 4.9 2.6 1.9 .5 13.1
2014–15 Chicago 65 65 38.7 .462 .378 .834 5.8 3.3 1.8 .6 20.0
Career 256 152 29.7 .440 .333 .804 4.3 2.0 1.3 .4 11.7


2012 Chicago 3 0 1.3 .000 .000 .000 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0
2013 Chicago 12 12 40.8 .435 .405 .818 5.2 2.7 1.3 .5 13.3
2014 Chicago 5 5 43.6 .386 .300 .783 5.2 2.2 1.4 .0 13.6
2015 Chicago 12 12 42.2 .441 .389 .819 5.6 3.2 2.4 .8 22.9
Career 32 29 38.1 .431 .380 .813 4.8 2.5 1.6 .5 15.7

See also


External links