For the past two seasons Jimmy Butler put the Chicago Bulls on his shoulders and basically saved them from being one of the worst teams in the NBA. His progression from his first two seasons to this past one in 2016-17 has been unreal. Very rarely do you see players take a jump like that in production on both ends of the court.
Jimmy Butler was very good for the Chicago Bulls and he rules. Here is some of the staff’s top moments of Jimmy Butler’s time as a Chicago Bull. Enjoy.
Tyler Pleiss (@Tyler_Pleiss)
My favorite Jimmy Butler memory came during his second season in 12-13, when he was dubbed the "Kobe Stopper." This was the season in which Derrick Rose tore his meniscus only a few weeks into the season, then the Bulls subsequently traded Luol Deng, with Butler taking his place.
On January 21st, 2013, the Bulls played the Lakers, and Kobe was still somewhat Kobe at this time. Butler managed to hold Kobe to 16 points on 22 points in a win. After the game teammates were shouting "Kobe Stopper!" and Kobe himself credited Butler's defense for his off-game. Later that season we saw his defense on full display against LeBron James and the Miami Heat, in the first stages of his ascension.
Bulls players yelling 'Kobe stopper' to Jimmy Butler in locker room.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 22, 2013
Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay)
Jimmy Butler had a bunch of incredible performances with the Bulls. The 40-point half against the Raptors and 53-point game against the 76ers in 2015-16 immediately come to mind, as well as the 52-point obliteration of the Hornets this past season that was the beginning of a death spiral for Charlotte.
However, I have a pair of singular moments that I’m going to go with as my favorites, and both of them are alley-oop dunks.
The first is the Dave Chappelle-as-Prince-esque dunk against the Bucks in 2013:
The second is when he dunked all over Chris Bosh, which also came off a Luol Deng pass in 2013:
We’d learn later that Jimmy Butler was truly a badass on the court, but we saw the signs early on.
George Eisner (@EasyEis)
One of the most entertaining trends of Jimmy Butler’s career with the Chicago Bulls had to be his routine dismantling of the Toronto Raptors—affectionately known around BaB as the Tortrashto Trashtors. Butler was an instrumental part of the Bulls’ hilariously improbable 11-game winning streak over the Craptors, with many of his finest performances as a Chicago Bull occurring during that stretch.
But from my perspective, none of these games were more breathtaking than Jimmy Butler’s 40 point second half on January 3rd, 2016 that broke a Bulls franchise scoring record set by Michael Jordan:
After scoring his only points of the first half off of a wide-open lob finish and then getting his lip busted wide-open by an inadvertent elbow from DeMarre Carroll, Butler came out of the locker room and proceeded to eat Drake’s hometown alive. Jimmy G. Buckets was in full effect for the next 24 minutes as he proceeded to shoot 14-18 from the field and also dished out four assists. He capped off his historic performance with a ridiculous contested go-ahead three pointer over Carroll with 30 seconds remaining in the game. The 40 points scored by Butler over the final two quarters just edged out Michael Jordan’s previous Bulls record of 39 points in a single half.
By this point, Jimmy Butler had already clearly established himself as one of the best two-way players in the NBA, but this game—perhaps more than any other—definitively illustrated Butler’s miraculous transformation from his rookie year into an offensive juggernaut. At that time, only four other players in roughly the last two decades had accomplished a similar herculean feat:
Jimmy Butler just scored 40 points after halftime (no overtime!). The list since 1997: pic.twitter.com/xHlC2nDjjd— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) January 3, 2016
It was one of the greatest individual performances in recent NBA memory, and it was one that won’t soon be forgotten by Bulls fans far and wide.
Vijay Vemu (@VJVemu)
Jimmy Butler was easily my favorite player on the Bulls. He was the perfect two-way player that Chicago needed and his progression as a player has been amazing to watch. He’s put up some monster performances over the years, especially in this past season. But one of my favorite Jimmy Butler games was his Game 2 scoring outburst against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2015 playoffs. Butler was just beginning to establish himself as a viable second option for the Bulls and was showing glimmers of potential to even one day become the “guy” offensively. His performance in Game 2 proved just that. Butler scored 31 points to help the Bulls take a 2-0 lead in the series and it was an absolute classic from the shooting guard. It also included a vicious dunk in the 4th quarter where he just flew by his man and threw it down. Little did we know this would be a preview of a typical game from him nowadays. Thanks for everything Jimmy.