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Jimmy Butler On Michael Jordan: ‘I’ll Stick To Basketball And He Can Have Golf’

Jimmy Butler, Michael Jordan
Getty/USA Today

Michael Jordan is likely the best player of all time. He has the rings, statistical resumé, and highlight reel to prove it. But not even Jordan’s tangible legacy aligns with the public’s outlandish perception of his greatness. Why? At least in part because the six-time champion manages a strict public persona, one Jimmy Butler is (somewhat) comfortable helping him manage.

The Chicago Bulls wing was defeated in a shooting competition by Jordan and a youngster at the 53-year-old’s basketball camp in Santa Barbara earlier this month. Butler, though, now suggests the game was rigged in Jordan’s favor. Still, that’s not to say he doesn’t remain at least relatively impressed by his predecessor’s prowess on the hardwood.

Here’s a playful Butler on the shooting contest and Jordan’s form in general, courtesy of ESPN’s Nick Friedell:

“It was good. I won [the game], let’s just leave it at that,” Butler said.

[…]

“Mike’s still got it,” Butler said. “I’m not going to say that he can get up and down right now, but the guy is the greatest to ever play the game. He loves the game, but I hear that his golf game is really great so I’ll stick to the basketball court and he can have the golf.”

Uh-oh. Cue the hyper-sensitive Jordan obsessives:

“How could Butler throw shade at the G.O.A.T? He’s only been an All-Star once! The Bulls haven’t even made the NBA Finals since he’s been in town! Remember how many rings MJ won? The dude didn’t only make the Finals six times, he won them each time! Butler better respect his elders…”

But the 25-year-old was only joking, of course. A member of team Jordan Brand and the only starring wing Chicago has had since His Airness hung it up for a second time in 1998, it’s clear Butler shares a kinship with Jordan. Not many current players, after all, would feel comfortable ribbing him like this.

Will Jordan’s legion of fans understand Butler’s tone, though? Let’s just say we doubt it.

(Via ESPN)

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