Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat has long been one of the best two-way players in the NBA, and also one of the most underrated. Perhaps the fact that he has always been so underrated is also the reason why “Jimmy Butler shoes” has never been a big thing in the sneaker-verse. But Jimmy has had some great kicks on the court over the years, and in 2023 finally got his first signature shoe, the JB 1 from Li-Ning.
The 2022-23 season has been a fantastic year for Jimmy Buckets. Aside from his signature shoe, he has led the Miami Heat to one of the most surprising seasons in the history of the NBA. The Heat barely made the Playoffs, but guided by Butler, they powered their way all the way to the NBA Finals to face Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets.
But Jimmy at this point in his career is used to flying under the radar and defying the odds. He grew up in Tomball Houston TX, in a single-parent home. At the age of 13, he was kicked out of his house and bounced between the homes of various friends. Then, during a summer basketball league before his senior year of HS, he became friends with future NFL player Jordan Leslie, and Jordan’s mother would offer Jimmy a permanent residence. Michelle Lambert became Jimmy’s adoptive mother and gave him the stability to pursue basketball.
Butler was not highly recruited out of high school and had to go the Junior College route at first. But, after just one season at Tyler JC, he was offered an athletic scholarship to Marquette. At Marquette, he would have a slow start but would earn a slot in the 2011 draft. The last slot of the first round in fact.
It is safe to say that Jimmy Bulter is one of the hardest-working and most resilient stars in the NBA. You have to be to overcome everything Jimmy has. But let’s dive into his sneaker history and revisit Jimmy’s career and more importantly, his shoes.
Jimmy Butler Shoes: A Full Timeline Show
- Jimmy Butler Shoes at Marquette
- Jimmy Butler Adidas Shoes
- Jimmy Butler Shoes: Jordan Brand
- Jimmy Butler Shoes: LiNing
Jimmy Butler Shoes at Marquette
After transferring from Tyler JC and landing in Milwaukee it took him a second to get the hang of things. In his first year, he played just 19 minutes a game and averaged 5.6 ppg. In his second season, however, his production skyrocketed. He would average 14.7 ppg, 6.4 rbpg, and 2 apg, and in his third season, he was even better. He averaged 15.7 ppg, 6.1 rbpg, and 2.3 apg and earned an All-Big East Honorable Mention for the second straight year. After a shaky start, Jimmy was able to establish himself as a viable NBA prospect.
During his time at Marquette Jimmy rocked Jordans exclusively on court, which makes sense since Marquette is a Jordan school. He played in a myriad of different team Jordan models, as well as several flagship models like the Jordan 11.
After 3 seasons at Marquette Jimmy declared for the 2011 NBA Draft. He wasn’t one of the top prospects to enter, but it seemed clear that he would make an NBA roster.
Jimmy Butler Adidas Shoes
The 2011 NBA Draft featured some top-shelf talent, including Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Nikola Vučević. It seems crazy in retrospect, but Jimmy fell to the last pick of the first round of the draft, where the Chicago Bulls Scooped him up. This meant that Jimmy would be off to another slow start in the NBA.
In his first season he would play in just 42 games, none as a starter, and averaged just over 2 ppg. In his second season, things improved and Bulter increased his playing time to 26 minutes a game, playing in all 82 games of the regular season, 20 of which were as a starter, and would end up scoring 8.6 ppg. This was the season that Derrick Rose sat out due to ACL surgery which of course contributed to the increased minutes on court.
In his third season, Butler established himself as one of the key players on the Bulls roster. He was placed on the starting lineup, he logged 38 minutes a game that season ad averaged 13.1 ppg, 4.9 apg, and 2.6 apg. He helped lead the Chicago Bulls to the playoffs and established them as one of the toughest teams in the NBA.
During his first three years in the League, Jimmy had a deal with adidas. Adidas at the time was perhaps the biggest basketball brand there was. They had an incredible roster of NBA players, they were the official athletic sponsor of the NBA, it was a good period of time for the three stripes in the basketball market.
Jimmy wore several different team models from adidas, but the coolest kicks he laced up during this period were undoubtedly his red and black Crazy 8s. He also played in the adidas top 10s, the Tmac 1s and some DRose models, but by far the most iconic were those bright red adidas Crazy 8.
Once his three-year contract was up with adidas Jimmy started studying his options.
Jimmy Butler Shoes 2011-14
Jimmy Butler Shoes: Jordan Brand
Butler’s next 6 seasons were spectacular and equipped by Jordan Brand.
The 2014-15 season was Jimmy’s breakout season. At this point, he was clearly Chicago’s go-to guy and he averaged 20 ppg, 5.8 rbpg and 4.1 apg. He was named to that year’s All-Star Team, was selected to the All-NBA Defensive Team, and won the “Most Improved Player” award. At this point, he was widely regarded as one of the toughest 2-way players in the NBA.
During these 6 seasons, Jimmy would play for 4 different teams. After the 2016-17 seasons, the Bulls and Jimmy were looking for a change, and Jimmy ended up being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
With the T-Wolves Jimmy made another All-Star team, turned in averages of 22/5/5, he was selected to the All-NBA 3rd team and to the All-NBA Defensive 2nd team as well. Everything seemed to be going great with Jimmy and the Wolves, but after some highly publicized friction and a very notorious practice session, Jimmy was traded to the Phillidelfia 76ers after just 10 games of his second season with the Timberwolves.
With the Sixers, Jimmy would again have an impressive showing providing the defense and grit that the SIxers needed to be a serious contender for an NBA title. But again, at the end of that season, the Sixers traded Jimmy once more this time sending him to the Miami Heat. So even though Jimmy was having an objectively very successful career up until this point, he seemingly didn’t fit in anywhere and began to develop a reputation for being a bad teammate. But, the Heat would prove to be the perfect destination for him.
At the beginning of 2015-16 Jimmy broke ties with adidas and signed with Jordan Brand, taking a huge pay cut. Butler apparently wanted to be with Jordan Brand over any other sneaker brand, so much so that he was willing to sign a deal where he would be earning 75% less money.
Jimmy’s go-to Jordan shoe clearly was the Jordan 31. He played in Jordan 29s Jordan 32s, Low PE, Jordan Superflys, Jordan Supreme Elevations … but would always revert back to the Jordan 31 if he wasn’t feeling it with other models. Even during his time with the Heat, he would reach for the 31s, and at that point, Jordan Brand was on the Jordan 36.
But he left Michael Jordan’s company in January of 2020, nine months before the original expiration date of the deal he had signed. Jimmy might have been frustrated with Jordan after taking such a hefty pay cut, not getting his own signature shoe, and by the fact that it seemed that Jordan brand wasn’t producing shoes that fit his needs on court.
One prime example of this was the Jordan Supreme Elevation which wasn’t a signature shoe, but was “Jimmy Butler shoe”. He wore that model a lot during the 2018-19 season but that model had clear stability and containment issues and Jimmy would constantly revert back to using the Jordan 31.
Jimmy would remain a sneaker free agent throughout his legendary Bubble Playoff run to the NBA Finals but would end up signing a deal with Li-Ning, and has been rocking their shoes most of his career with the Heat.
Jimmy Butler Shoes: LiNing
Now, as good as Jimmy has been up to this point, his time with the Heat has been spectacular. He has maintained his averages of 20/5/5 but he has established the Heat as one of the top teams in the Eastern conference. In just his first season he lead the Heat all the way to the NBA finals, where they would unfortunately lose to the LeBron lead LA Lakers.
During his 4 seasons with the Heat, he was selected to the All-Star team twice, to the All-NBA team 3 times, the all-defensive team once and the Heat have made the NBA finals twice and the Eastern Conference finals once. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Sneakerwise, his first season with the Heat, Jimmy played in Jordans, and a good chunk of his second season as well, but after signing with LiNing, the first model Jimmy rocked was the Yushuai 14. After that, he played in several other LiNing models like the LiNing Speed 7, and the Speed 8.
In 2022 Jimmy finally got his first signature shoe the Lining JB 1 which is a great first signature shoe. We are eagerly awaiting the JB 2.