Saying “Jimmy Butler is the man” is probably the least controversial statement you could make in the city of Chicago right now.
Butler, possessing the superhuman ability to get better at basketball every single time he plays it, has reached the point of improvement where a trendy question now seems rather silly.
Who is the best player on the Chicago Bulls? Obviously, it’s Jimmy Butler.
An All-Star for the first time last season, the early returns on Butler’s fifth season are ridiculously good. As ESPN’s latest ‘Real Plus-Minus’ advanced metric suggests, he’s making a hell of a case for another title as well: “best shooting guard in the NBA.”
Listed as the 9th most effective player in the entire league, Butler is rated as the highest of anybody at his position. But what exactly has pushed Jimmy to the next level?
Well, other than working his ass off, Jimmy Butler no longer gives a fuck about what anyone else thinks or says. James Buckets has become the ultimate bad-ass version of himself, no longer merely the “young improving role player who every fan likes.”
He’s evolved into bad boy Jimmy, and that’s a very, very good thing.
The latest instance? When he asked Portland center Mason Plumlee to pay the fine he received after the two had an “altercation” on Tuesday night.
Starting there, and going backwards, let’s reminisce on the six most badass Jimmy Butler moments of November.
November 24th: Not Taking Shit From Mason Plumlee/Postgame Media Troll
There’s just so much to love about this one.
After the 6’10” Plumlee decked Butler, who was setting a screen, 6’7″ Jimmy didn’t hesitate getting into the big man’s face before the refs saved Plumlee’s life. Then, a genius troll session happened postgame when Jimmy not only said he’d ask Plumlee for his $2,500 back, but referred to him as “Mister Dukie.”
This, of course, was a couple quarters after Jimmy hit a buzzer-beating half-courter.
November 23rd: Challenges Teammates To Bring “The Fight” Every Night
Practice what you preach. A day before the Plumlee skirmish, Jimmy said, “At times we take for granted how talented we are as a whole and with all the guys upon this roster..” in regards to the Bulls’ nightly effort.
In a nutshell? Jimmy isn’t taking the backseat anymore.
November 20th: Welcomes A Matchup Against The World’s Best Basketball Player (Stephen Curry)
I mean, this is the quintessential “I’m a badass” move. Nobody in the world wants to guard Steph Curry right now, but Jimmy Butler somehow enjoys those sorts of things.
For what it’s worth, Curry had his lowest scoring total in six games that night, and Jimmy outscored him by a point.
November 12th: Calls Out Hornets PG Brian Roberts
If Jimmy wasn’t going to take shit from Mason Plumlee, he definitely wasn’t going to take shit from a 6’1” backup point guard for the Hornets.
Butler said beyond the 130 points Bulls allowed to Hornets, he's mad at Brian Roberts for being "disrespectful", shooting at end of blowout.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 12, 2015
This was said in advance of the Bulls rematch with Charlotte after they were blown out on November 3rd, and Jimmy proceeded to score 27 and hit the game-winner the second time around.
Don’t ever disrespect the court that Jimmy Butler stands on.
November 12th: Jimmy Gets A 6000-pound Boombox Fish Tank In His House
I don’t think there’s a better way to sum up how cool Jimmy Butler is.
November 4th: Jimmy Says What Nobody Else Would
After the aforementioned 130-105 blowout against Charlotte, Jimmy didn’t exactly beat around the bush:
“We were soft. Got our asses whipped.”
In the words of a slightly more polarizing Chicago athlete, Jimmy Butler “don’t care” about what anyone else thinks anymore.