After a stellar—depending on your allegiances—first game of the NBA Finals last night, ABC proudly ran ads for Jimmy Kimmel Live that relayed Jimmy Butler would be one of the late night show’s featured guests. Butler’s appearance predictably came at the penultimate part of the show prior to the musical guest closing the evening out, but it was still an entertaining and interesting one to behold for Bulls fans in particular for a few reasons. Some highlights from Butler’s segment include:
- Kimmel kicked things off by playfully remarking that the jacket Butler was wearing looked like sheets the late night host had on his bed when he was four years old. Butler didn’t appreciate that, but playfully laughed it off because he himself had made a joke about Kimmel’s physique not ten seconds prior. I’m sure Bonobos didn’t appreciate Kimmel’s dig at Jimmy’s fashion sense, either.
- Jimmy Butler’s work ethic is already legendary, but would you believe Butler works out every day even when he’s on vacation?!?!?*
*weekend days obviously excluded
- Butler is not watching the Finals while he’s in Los Angeles for the offseason, but he is paying attention. Speaking of L.A., when Kimmel tried to employ reverse psychology in an attempt to lure Butler to the Lakers, Jimmy immediately reiterated that he’s only in the City of Angels for the offseason and he doesn’t want to leave the Chicago Bulls by choice because he loves the city so very much.
- Butler also proclaimed his eternal gratefulness to the organization for taking a chance on him with the last pick of the first round in the 2011 NBA Draft. This all makes me very worried that when it comes time to resign Butler, management will do whatever they can to try to lure him into a hometown discount. That would actually be hilarious because the last time the front office did that, Butler completely embarrassed them by being great over the course of the season and essentially forced them to give him a max offer.
- THAT BEING SAID... when Kimmel directly asked Butler if he wanted to spend his entire career in Chicago, Butler deflected the question completely just to keep shooting down Kimmel’s not-really-dreams of seeing Butler in a Lakers jersey. Then when Kimmel followed that up immediately by asking, “what if you get traded,” Butler just gave the spiel one would expect from a high profile player neck-deep in trade speculation by saying that any organization that has him is going to get his all every game. He concluded his answer by saying, “I’m fortunate enough for it to be the Chicago Bulls right now.” The keywords there are “right now,” especially because Butler didn’t shoot down any notion that he was involved in trade discussions with other teams. Given this, I think it will be very interesting to monitor the next few weeks leading up to draft night with respect to what is going on with Butler’s future in a Bulls jersey.
- Back to the fun stuff, Butler’s famous/infamous—depending on your perspective—aquarium-boombox hybrid that houses fifty fish near the front door of his house is still going strong. The funny development here is that Butler apparently brings his dates home through the garage rather than the front door, and Kimmel apparently caught Butler’s reasoning for doing this when he joked that Butler needs to get upstairs fast without the fishtank becoming a distraction. Butler of course denied that was his intent (yeah right), but Kimmel’s logic here is sound. After all, if I had a jumbotron-sized fish mansion as the centerpiece of my house’s main floor, I can see how this would be an unwanted diversion if I had a ladyfriend over and some ulterior motives.
- Butler and Kimmel wrapped up by discussing Butler’s deep infatuation with country music. Butler specifically mentioned Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line as two of his favorite country music acts, but the interesting note came when Butler discussed the dynamic of how the music in the Bulls locker room goes. Butler says he concedes three “hippity-hop songs” for his teammates before breaking out the country, and sometimes they get a little bit into it, but none of them are really all about it like Butler is or really even like it at all.
^Honestly, when I heard this, I couldn’t help but conjure up an image from late 2015 in my head of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah screaming at Butler to turn off his Rascal Flatts album while Pau Gasol sits in his locker with headphones on listening to Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” as Fred Hoiberg whimpers in a corner rummaging through his box of National Lampoon DVDs. This didn’t actually happen—to my knowledge, anyway—but a part of me now thinks country music is having a far worse effect on the Chicago Bulls as a team than GarPax.
^^It also reminded me of when Sammy Sosa walked out on the Chicago Cubs after the first pitch of the final game of the 2004 season, and some player in fit of rage destroyed Sosa’s boombox in the locker room because Sosa blasted the same salsa music CD on it every day and subsequently drove Kerry Wood and his teammates completely insane. If Butler gets traded, I expect Cameron Payne to start a bonfire on Madison Avenue with all of Butler’s country music CDs. Then again, no one uses CDs anymore, so maybe Payne will just fray Butler’s aux cord on Jimmy’s way out.
You can watch a couple clips of Butler’s apperance on Jimmy Kimmel Live below: