We've known that Jimmy Butler dug stuffed animals ever since he introduced us to his "pet," Royce. But over the weekend, the second-year Chicago Bulls wing showed us that his love extends to the sneaker game:
Butler tweeted a picture of these beauties on Saturday morning from El Paso, Texas, where he was biding his time before checking out the UTEP Miners' college-football-season-opening game against the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday night. UTEP wide receiver Jordan Leslie is a close friend of Butler. Leslie's blended family took Butler in while he was heading into his senior year of high school in Houston; in the lead-up to the 2011 NBA draft, in which the Bulls selected Butler 30th overall out of Marquette, Butler reportedly "insisted on scheduling his predraft workouts around the UTEP spring football game."
The eye-popping "Bear Shoes" that Butler's sporting — in "slime/macaw green," natch — are a collaboration between adidas and fashion designer Jeremy Scott that feature faux fur up top, a toy bear head on the tongue and hippy-dippy flowers all over. The peace-love-and-Ruxpin joints will run you $200 a pop, but the style they confer ... well, that's priceless.
If you're not a sneakerhead and Scott's name sounds familiar to you, it might be because of the controversy that roiled a few months back over the JS Roundhouse Mid, a shoe Scott designed for adidas that sported an ankle cuff that he said was inspired by the 1980s child's toy My Pet Monster, but that many believed too closely evoked the shackles once worn by slaves. If nothing else, the teddy bear kicks seem to strengthen Scott's argument, but it's too late to save the Roundhouse, which adidas scuttled.
Unfortunately, Butler wound up changing into a different pair of adidas kicks before the game, which the highly ranked Sooners won, 24-7. The moral of the story and the clear lesson here: Leave the bear shoes on, Jimmy. Even into the season. I respect Taj Gibson and his we'll-be-all-right gumption, but with Derrick Rose sidelined for at least the first few months, you might need all the help you can get this year.
Hat-tip to Beyond the Buzzer.