Jimmy Butler had modest expectations when he entered the NBA. Coming out of mid-major Marquette, Butler was the 30th overall pick in 2011. While he was played sparingly during his early years in Chicago, he was a starter by his third season. Butler has defied those modest expectations to become an eight-time all-star and five-time All-NBAer. Furthermore, he has earned the nickname “Playoff Jimmy” for his habit of absolutely balling out in the postseason.
However, is Jimmy Butler a true superstar? It’s a tough question. He certainly doesn’t rank in the same tier as Jokić, Embiid, Giannis, LeBron, etc. But Jimmy Butler has always been a hardworking contributor and a backbone of a lot of teams. Despite this, Stephen A. Smith went hard on Butler’s reputation during a recent episode of First Take.
Stephen A. Smith Goes Off On Jimmy Butler
“You think about superstars and what we usually get from those superstars in terms of offensive production, that’s not Jimmy,” Smith said on First Take. In four seasons with Miami, Butler is averaging 21.5 points per game, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. In six seasons in Chicago, Butler averaged 15.6 points per game. Smith is right that Butler isn’t an offensive powerhouse. You don’t win a championship if Jimmy Butler is the primary offensive weapon at your disposal.
But has anyone ever thought otherwise? For real, has anyone genuinely looked at Butler’s output and said “This is the guy who we can exclusively rely on to win us a championship”? No, of course not. And that’s because Butler’s skill set is one you build around. Butler doesn’t shoot threes so you need a guy who can shoot threes. Jimmy Butler isn’t some Swiss-army knife player who can do everything. However, if you can build the right team around him, you don’t need him to be that player. NBA observers have seen the rise of Jokić, Embiid, and other superstars and decided that every team needs a one-man army. Jimmy Butler is a great player, but isn’t and doesn’t need to be the guy who drags a team to a championship. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.