Butler reveals jersey number story: For those who have inspired me

Miami Heat All-Star forward Jimmy Butler shared the story of his jersey number in a recent interview.

#22 Jimmy Butler Heat 2021-22 City Edition Jersey


Jimmy Butler now wears No. 22 with the Heat in honor of former teammate Tye Gibson, “He was one of the toughest teammates of my career and he taught me a lot about how to be a professional player. Sometimes people choose jersey numbers to inspire themselves, and Tye Gibson was one of those guys.” Butler was teammates with Gibson from 2011-2017 with the Bulls, and the two reunited with the Timberwolves during the 2017-18 season and early last season. Jimmy Butler has worn No. 21 since entering the league, while Taj Gibson wore No. 22 during their time together.

“I wore No. 33 at Marquette, and in high school I wore No. 1 because of Maddie. My best friend wore No. 33, he’s my brother and lives with me. His family has always helped me grow up and I’m grateful for that, so I chose my friend’s mom’s favorite player Larry Bird’s No. 33 jersey.”

“I chose No. 21 in Chicago because I was drafted 21st overall. I played with a guy named Joe Foles in college and he wore No. 21. Without him, I wouldn’t have made it to the league.”

#22 Jimmy Butler Heat Jersey

“I wore No. 23 in Minnesota because I was in the Jordan Brand family at the time. I didn’t mean to compare myself to Jordan in any way, but I think Jordan wore No. 23 once in Chicago and then he left for another team. And I left from Chicago, so I thought I should try wearing No. 23 NBA jersey.”

Butler, who has found a home in Miami after stints in Chicago, Minnesota and Philadelphia, averaged 20.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game in 19-20 before entering a lockout in which the All-Star helped the Heat finish fourth in the East with 41 wins and 24 losses.