Jimmy Butler can easily be compared to a dormant beast. For several years of his decade-long career, the forward was given role-player duties. He would often show how great he was on the court. Butler is very reliable when it comes to competing in crunch time. He has never failed to impress the masses, especially since becoming the Miami Heat’s leader back in 2019. Along with his emergence came brand-new opportunities.
Ever since he was in college competing for the Marquette Golden Eagles, Jimmy would always wear Adidas shoes. However, after three years in the league, he went on to sign with Jordan brand. Both parties made it official during the 2014-2015 NBA Season. He would switch between Jordan brand’s Superflys, Jordan 32 Low PE, and other versions that were released by them.
Never forget when he rocked Eminem x Carhartt Air Jordan 4s during a game 😳 pic.twitter.com/B0MOihSXdz
— Kicks Deals (@KicksDeals) January 2, 2020
At the time of the deal, Butler was also having a break out as he won the Most Improved Player of the Year and helped his team achieve decent records. He would move on to other teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers as well. His stints with those teams weren’t as great as his time on the Chicago Bulls. This may have been a reason why Jordan brand didn’t want to give Jimmy a signature just yet.
Jimmy Butler switched to Li-Ning in hopes of landing a signature shoe deal
During the summer of 2019, Jimmy Butler finally inked a deal with the Miami Heat. Since then, his career has been on a hill climb to the top. He managed to lead the Heat into the playoffs and helped them reach the 2020 NBA Finals as well. In January 2020, the company still never offered Butler a signature shoe deal. This was probably the reason why Jimmy chose to cut ties with Jordan brand.
Jimmy Butler made his season debut in his first signature shoe — the Li Ning JB 1 👀 pic.twitter.com/8A8WQ86yCi
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) October 20, 2022
He remained without a shoe deal for the remainder of the season and throughout the NBA Bubble. The Heat would lose to the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals but Jimmy Butler was an absolute star regardless. This helped him sign with Li-Ning, a company based in China and a brand his close friend, Dwyane Wade endorses.
He signed with Li-Ning the following season and surprisingly, they were more than happy to offer him a signature shoe right off the bat. In November 2020, Jimmy and Li-Ning released his first signature pair. After three years with the brand, Jimmy paid homage to his incredible deal with Li-Ning by wearing the first-ever colorway of his signature pair during Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals.