Difficult childhood made Butler the 'tough guy' it took to find a home in the NBA

Life taught Jimmy Butler to be a tough guy. And people like that don't please everyone because they often can't accept less than the maximum. The 31-year-old played for the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Philadelphia 76-years until he really felt at home at the Miami Heat, which challenges the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA final. Game 2 takes place this Friday, at 10 pm (Brasil time), at the Disney complex, in Florida. Even after twisting his ankle, he says he will act

Difficult childhood made Butler the 'tough guy' it took to find a home in the NBA


Franchise President Pat Riley offered $ 140 million for a four-year contract and team star status. Butler took less than 20 minutes to say "yes" at a dinner with the manager and coach Erik Spoelstra. "More than anything, they wanted me to be here. They said, 'You are the guy we want'. You didn't have to tell me any more," recalled the player. "Being loved is what anyone wants in the world, not just basketball. I'm happy to be home."

Butler was also slow to find this feeling off the court. He overcame a difficult childhood. The father abandoned his family when he was just a baby and his mother kicked him out of the house at the age of 13 when he lived in the Houston suburb.

The boy lived in the home of acquaintances for a long time until he was adopted by the family of Jordan Leslie, who became friends with Butler after a three-point shootout. It was what he needed to dedicate himself to basketball once and for all.

After studying and standing out at Tyler Junior College, Butler obtained a scholarship from Marquette University in Wisconsin. After three seasons in college basketball, averaging 12 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, the winger was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 30th and final position of the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft.

Before detailing the long road that led the player to the Heat, it is necessary to open a parenthesis to explain what he thinks of everything he has lived. Once, an ESPN reporter wanted to tell his story. And he heard from Butler: "I just ask you not to write in a way that people feel sorry for me. I hate that. There's nothing to regret. I love what happened to me. It made me the person I am. challenges I faced. "

The tough guy made his name in the NBA but failed to achieve all the desired success in Chicago. The franchise still suffered after the glory years with Michael Jordan. It was six seasons, going to the playoffs five times, without ever reaching the final of the Eastern Conference.

The exit was tumultuous. Butler complained that his companions were not as dedicated as he was. "I don't think they are on the same page as me when it comes to winning games. We were definitely not on the same page," he said. The wear and tear were increasing, mainly because the leaders of the franchise defended the "tank" when you purposely lose to have a better position in the Draft. He went to the Minnesota Timberwolves, in an exchange that involved Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and Lauri Markkanen.

In the new house, the same problems. Butler understood that his companions were not as dedicated as he was. He went head-to-head with Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns, the team's young talents. After just one season he moved to the Philadelphia 76ers. There he was supposed to be the experienced player on a team built around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The chemistry didn't work. Elton Brand, general manager of the team, preferred to invest in other options and did not renew with the winger.

In Miami, Butler finally found the environment he wanted. He showed what he wanted from his companions right away: he showed up at 3:30 am in the gym for the 10-hour training. The team became his mirror, a lot of perspiration even without having the most talented players, such as the Lakers of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Retribution for the Butler effort does in small gestures. After newcomer Tyler Herro stood out in a win over the Boston Celtics in the playoffs, the winger appeared in training with the shirt from Whitnall High School, where the 20-year-old studied. Upon reaching the NBA finals, he went to give Erik Spoelstra a hug in the coach's number 30 uniform at the University of Portland. "We will constantly compete for each other," he said. "Our conviction does not change: we will fight as hard as we can and see how far we will go," he added.

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