Jimmy Butler’s mindset is unique among NBA players. The Miami Heat superstar has gone through a lot during his life and that has made him the player and the person he is right now. Butler is a fighter and regardless of the challenge has in front of him, he always gives his best to take his team to the next level. We saw how good he was during the bubble, leading the Miami Heat through the postseason, taking them to the Finals, which they ultimately lost against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Butler’s history has been an inspiration for everybody but this year he really stole the spotlight. However, back in 2015, Jimmy was starting to demonstrate to people that he was a great player with the Chicago Bulls and spreading his philosophy around the NBA world.
During an interview with Bryan Smith of the Chicago Magazine, Jimmy explained that he’s always looking at the present and the future and never looking back, even making drastic decisions as a reminder.
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. His coach at Marquette University, Buzz Williams, says Butler was so sensitive about his upbringing that he swore Williams to secrecy while playing for him.
When I ask why he hates talking about the past so much, Butler shifts uncomfortably on the sectional in the grand San Diego house. “It’s because I don’t ever want that to define me,” he says. “I hated it whenever it came up because that’s all anybody ever wanted to talk about. Like, that hasn’t gotten me to where I am today. I’m a great basketball player because of my work. I’m a good basketball player because of the people I have around me. And if I continue to be stuck in the past, then I won’t get any better. I won’t change, I’ll get stuck as that kid. That’s not who I am. I’m so far ahead of that. I don’t hold grudges. I still talk to my family. My mom. My father. We love each other. That’s never going to change.” In fact, the day I visited Butler, his father was staying with him.
Butler is now one of the best NBA players and if you ask him, he’s not thinking about the problems he had in Chicago, his fight with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the bad reputation he could have earned with the Philadelphia 76ers. Jimmy knows that those moments took him to this one when he’s one of the best NBA players and is playing for the team that adapted to his philosophy and embraced it. The result? They just played six games in the Finals against the all-powerful Lakers.