That tradition continued last night against the Memphis Grizzlies when Butler’s fourth-quarter dominance culminated in stealing a key Memphis inbounds pass, securing the Bulls’ 108-104 victory.
Last night was only unique in that Butler got off to an extremely slow start before kicking it into gear late in the game. According to Matt Peck of Sports Mockery, one trash-talking Grizzlies fan in attendance gave Butler the final bit of inspiration he needed to take over the game and get the Bulls the win.
According to Peck’s account, the Grizzlies fan was seated just a few rows behind the bench and shouting loudly at Butler all game, bragging to his friends that he could tell he had gotten in Butler’s head.
The All-Star guard took notice of the fan and responded, both on the court and off.
Jimmy scored 9 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter, including back to back jumpers in the final minute to give the Bulls the lead. Then he stole the Grizzlies’ inbounds pass with a great hustle play to lock up the victory. Butler returned to the bench, and stared up at the trash talker. “How are you going to do that to me?” the heartbroken fan said. Jimmy’s response was classic: “I’m sorry. I love you, man.”
After Butler left the court a winner, the fan was left to grapple with the massive mistake he had made.
It’s a pretty signature moment for the long-time Bull, coming up huge in a key win for his team while also showing up a nefarious trash-talker with some class and dignity.