Jimmy Butler's decision to pass on a contract extension last offseason is looking pretty smart considering his performance this year. With averages of 20.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 3.3 rpg, Butler is widely considered one of top wing players in the NBA these days. He's now using his high profile to make an impact through the Give a Child a Breakfast Program.
Butler talked with HoopsHype about that, the All-Star Weekend and more. (Not about his upcoming free agency, though).
How did you decide to get involved with Kellogg's and the Give a Child Breakfast Program?
Jimmy Butler: I decided to get involved because I wanted to help raise awareness that one in every five children may go to school hungry, and I just don't think that's good. I think you should always start your day with some Frosted Flakes or something of that nature to get your body going.
Everybody knows about the problems you went through growing up. Can you relate to those kids that are going through that situation?
JB: I know kids that didn't eat breakfast. I always had food, so I can'ts say that I can relate to it directly. But I knew people that didn't eat breakfast and to this day I still know.
There's many athletes that go from not having that much money to becoming rich all of a sudden. How did you deal with that situation yourself?
JB: Money doesn't and never will define who I am. I think with the more my name or my face is in the community because of basketball, it's about trying to change and help other people in the community twice as much. This is a start for me, I want to raise awareness, and try to get kids to get breakfast in the morning before going to school. This is the first of many situations, whether I'm poor or wealthy, where I'm helping change lives.
Earlier this season you talked about being just a role player on a very good team like the Chicago Bulls… Do you still feel the same way after going to the All-Star Game?
JB: I just figure myself to be a piece to a very good team. I just wanna win, maybe as a star, maybe as a role player, an All-Star… It doesn't matter. I just wanna win.
Wasn't your agent upset about your comment? Like 'Don't say that, I'm trying to get you All-Star money'?
JB: I have the freedom of speech. My agent has no control of what comes out of my mouth.
How was the All-Star Weekend for you?
JB: It was fun, it was different. But it was a great experience, I wouldn't change it, I would't give it back, but they didn't have as much Frosted Flakes there as I would like, so I was very disappointed with that. I didn't get as many when I needed it, but I did have some.
What was the happiest moment for you: Being selected in the draft or being selected to play at the All-Star Game?
JB: Being selected in the draft. That was a dream of mine when I was little. I take being drafted over being an All-Star every day. It was a lot of emotions going on in draft night. I was with my brothers, my family… I was lucky.
And you were lucky to end up in a very good team like Chicago.
JB: I don't believe in luck. Everything happens for a reason. You call it luck, I call it destiny.
How do you deal with a setback like getting injured in the elbow this close to the playoffs?
JB: It's hard but I just do what I know best, and it's doing what I've been doing. It starts with breakfast, working out, and then I eat some more cereal at night before bed, and then I wake up and do the exact same thing over and over again, because that's all I know, that's what got me to this point, and that's what's going to continue to make me get better.