Chicago Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler should act as an inspiration to just about anyone, let alone teenage kids. Kicked out of his mother’s house at the age of 13 due to attitude issues, he rebounded and worked his way into a basketball scholarship at a junior college prior to earning a spot on the Marquette Golden Eagles. Lightly-regarded as an NBA hopeful, he nevertheless made the league as the final pick in the first round, prior to three workmanlike years as an oft-ignored role player.
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Prior to the 2014-15 season, he turned down what seemed like a more than fair contract extension in order to bet on his own potential to earn more the next summer. During the season, he followed through – earning an All-Star bid and the league’s Most Improved Player award and a 20-point per game average. In the offseason, he inked a five-year, $95 million deal.
He is The Ideal. He who you are supposed to follow, to learn from. He is an example and an inspiration.
(He might also be driving recklessly, daily.)
Still, he loathes reliving the past—so much so that he has removed the rearview mirror on his car (yes, really) as a symbolic reminder to never look back.
You can’t … I mean … no. You can’t do this.
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Driving without a rearview mirror may not be illegal, at least in the state of Illinois, but it is pretty damned dumb. Especially when you enter in the idea that Jimmy Butler is doing as much as a symbolic gesture. You don’t need it to drive, but you can also operate a motor vehicle while talking on the phone – it doesn’t mean you should do it.
Butler lives in River North and the team’s new practice facility is right next to the team’s arena on the west side of town, and getting to games either by street or highway can be a perilous proposition at any hour of the day. Climbing over to the Damen exit or Madison exit (from the north) off the expressway to make your way toward the stadium virtually begs that you check all manner of reflective mirrors and every blind spot possible unless you want an Elantra all up in your biz.
You need a rearview mirror, kids. Don’t drive without a rearview mirror, adults.
We hope that Jimmy, still leaning in to a new brand of stardom that seemed implausible just 12 months ago, was overreaching as he looked for anecdotes to share with the author of this piece. That he’s totally not driving without a rearview mirror on his car in an attempt to remind himself to not look back. Even though he probably has to look back while driving a whole lot, considering he might be driving without a rearview mirror.
(Butler’s less-than-idyllic upbringing may explain the roots of one ritual that has become a rule with him and his roomies: When you go to the grocery store, you pay the bill of the person behind you in line. “I don’t care how many groceries they have. It could be a 99-cent ice-cream cone or a $2,000 grocery bill,” says Butler. “We have been so blessed. It’s fun.”)
(Wait, don’t you have to look back in order to see if someone is behind you in line at the grocery store? I’m so confused.)
We’ve explored Butler’s winning brand of gusto and (claimed, at least) naiveté before, so let’s just state what is obvious:
In nearly every single way, followers both young and old should look upon Jimmy Butler as a role model. The guy is an absolute peach.
Pass on emulating this part of his (don’t look) backstory, though.
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