Chicago Bulls All-Star forward, Jimmy Butler, has gotten off to a strong start this season, and he’s not shy about telling teammates how he feels about his game.
Butler is fresh off two consecutive All-Star games and is looking to add a third this year. Through the Bulls’ first 11 games, the 27-year-old has been putting up career-high numbers across the board, scoring more than 24 a night (24.5) on 48.8 percent shooting and an overhauled three-point stroke.
On top of that, he’s a solid rebounder and premier defender. All of that combined easily places Butler in the league’s top-20 and a case could be made that he’s top-15. That doesn’t cut it for Butler. According to Vince Goodwill of CSN Chicago, Butler has told teammates that he’s “the best (bleeping) player in the world.”
You have to love the confidence, right?
Butler didn’t want to own up to it explicitly, but he never denied saying it:
“I’m not gonna tell you exactly what I say but I think you know what I’m talking about. I don’t talk about it in public. But between these guys, they know how I feel, they know the way I go about the game and how I love it and how I love being better. I place myself where I place it and I hope my game continues to speak.”
Although he’s not in the conversation for the NBA’s best, the mentality matters. Over the last four games, he’s thought he was the best player on the floor and was. Chicago is 3-1 over that stretch, and Butler averaged 30.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 3.0 steals.
It’s unlikely those numbers are sustained for any long stretches, but Butler can easily turn into a guy who averages 25 points, six boards and six assists while locking down the opposing team’s best player. If he were to make that leap, Chicago could make some serious noise late in the season.
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