Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When did I fall in love with Jimmy Butler?

Jimmy Butler
Wesley Matthews
(in a very odd Today's Quiz first - I'm reposting what I wrote on my Fantasy NBA League's message board)

I fell in love with Jimmy Butler on February 17, 2009.

As many in this league know, nothing makes me cheer louder than the basketball team from Marquette University. It is where I went to school and where I had the pleasure of seeing nearly every Dwyane Wade home game of his career. I've been making the hour plus drive to Milwaukee multiple times every year for the past ten plus years.

On February 17, 2009 I saw a lazy win over Seton Hall. The (then ranked #10) team was led in scoring by Wesley Matthews with 24 points, but the takeaway memory for me was seeing Jimmy Butler slam down an ally-oop tossed from half court. I had only seen Butler play once before, he spent his freshman year at a Junior College and was reguluated to the deep bench behind an upperclassman heavy roster. That night he became my favorite player on my favorite team. A spot he never relinquished until his final game for Marquette.

I didn't think Wesley Matthews would make an NBA roster the following season in 2010, and although I loved the hustle I saw that 2009 night from Butler - I would've called you clinically insane if you told me Jimmy Butler would find his way into the Chicago Bulls starting lineup in under four years. When Matthews started flourishing early into his rookie season in Utah, I was able to pick him up in our Fantasy League because nobody was watching his box scores closer.  Again, even though I was over thrilled with Butler being drafted from my hometown favorite in 2011 - I didn't think I'd be repeating the same gesture.

And then we have tonight... The first time I was able to play Jimmy Butler in my starting fantasy lineup, where he shot an impressive 7-10 from the floor to yield a career high 19 points (and 6 rebounds).  I didn't get to see this game, for I was again in Milwaukee watching my beloved college hoops squad.  And even though the game featured a player scoring a career high 30 points, it was another player that made me smile.

Steve Taylor Jr.
Someday I hope to have Steve Taylor Jr. on my fantasy team. You'll never hear this anyplace else in your life, but you're hearing it here first. This freshman from Chicago's Simeon High School (he wears #25 for MU, which I owe my knowledge of its significance to the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Benji") is the next NBA player that Marquette will produce.

Today was a good day to be a fan of basketball.

Yes, I ordered my Jimmy Butler Shrtsey online already, and I just couldn't wait until I received it to write this post!

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