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April 03, 2019

Jimmy Butler admits he almost quit basketball in college at Marquette

Jimmy Butler doesn’t hide his personality. He’s one of the more straightforward stars in the NBA — no Kevin Durant-style media feuds — and he likes to talk about himself.

Last week the Sixers guard appeared on First We Feast’s Hot Ones show and suffered through the sauce while providing some pretty neat stories. This week, Butler appeared on Bleacher Report’s “Take It There with Taylor Rooks” show to talk with Rooks about all things Butler.

You can watch the full thing below:

The most intriguing part of the 14-minute episode, which is worth your time, comes when Butler talks about his experience playing college basketball at Marquette. Forget what the future holds, for a second: Butler almost had no basketball future at all.

Rooks: "Tell me the time that you were the most sad."

Butler: "I would probably say when I wanted to quit basketball forever at Marquette. I was like, ‘You know what? This basketball thing ain’t for me.' I wish I would’ve had journal there to get it all out, instead of talking to myself in the dark. I was like, Man, I don’t know what to do, who to talk to, who can relate."

Rooks: "Talk to me about that moment. Why did you want to quit basketball?"

Butler: "You’re so far away from home. To tell you the truth, I didn’t do no research, I didn’t know that it snowed, I didn’t know that it got cold. I didn’t know anything. I went up there like I was still in Texas: basketball shorts, t-shirts, flip flops.

"The one person who did help me, I’ll tell you this, Joe Fulce. We went to Marquette together. It was like whenever we had a problem, we were each other’s kind of coping mechanism. The fact that you just had someone to listen to you definitely helped."

Let’s ignore, for a second, the best part of the interview, when Butler admits that he didn’t exactly know what he was getting into by moving from Texas to Wisconsin, which is amazing.

For just a second, let’s look at the numbers.

During his freshman season at Marquette, Butler didn’t start once and averaged just 19.6 minutes per game. His field goal percentage (51.4%) and free throw percentage (76.8%) were solid, especially for a first-year player, but he wasn’t exactly the Golden Eagles’ star player.

Being an entire world away from your home, and struggling to get the playing time and success you probably imagined for yourself, sure seems like it’d challenge your love for almost anything.

For the record, Butler also said during the interview free agency is too far away to think about, which every player says even if it’s never true.

But, again, the highlight here is clearly Butler not understanding Milwaukee winters. I love it.

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