Jimmy Butler’s rise from homeless teenager to NBA All-Star has been a made-for-the-big-screen tale based on hard work and skill. It’s no wonder he was signed by Jordan, increased his brand value, and became a household name.
Jimmy Butler’s friendship with Mark Wahlberg isn’t quite as easy to explain. With Entourage hitting theaters this weekend (a TV show produced, and loosely based, on Wahlberg’s life), a closer look into one of the NBA’s greatest bromances was in order.
It all began harmlessly enough, with Mark visiting the Bull’s practice facilities in September of 2013 while in town shooting “Transformers.”
“When Wahlberg and his crew took the court, his manager called over one of the onlookers, Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, and asked if he’d play on his team against Wahlberg. Butler said he was in, so Wahlberg countered by adding Chicago rookie Erik Murphy to his side.
As Bulls rookie Tony Snell, Assistant General Manager Randy Brown, and later Joakim Noah among others watched, they went at it, playing three-on-three in a full court setting. It was a competitive effort by all involved—even Butler and Murphy picked up the pace a bit once they saw how hard Wahlberg and the others were playing—but in the end, it was Wahlberg’s team which claimed a narrow victory, in part due to some clutch shooting from behind the arc by the Hollywood A-lister.”
Now, that was a cool story in and of itself at the time, but the video took things to another level.
Jimmy took to Instagram to talk a bit of trash and document the occasion, and we all assumed that was that. A cool story to add to the book of Jimmy.
THE FOLLOW UP
And yet, nine months later, Jimmy posted another photo to his Instagram, with a caption that made it clear a spark had been ignited in 2013.
There was Jimmy, hanging out with Marky Mark’s kids, wishing him a Happy Birthday. He acknowledged the fact that he enjoyed their new-found friendship, a fact that hadn’t been public knowledge up to that point.
THE TIPPING POINT
Hours after Jimmy had hit a game-winning shot, a slightly inebriated Wahlberg left Butler a congratulatory video message for the ages.
This took things past a friendship to a an out and out bromance. Although Marquette and Bulls fans track all things Jimmy religiously, the nation as a whole was not quite hip to JFB yet. He had struggled coming back from injuries in the 2013-2014 season and was primarily a defensive specialist. Yet, there was Wahlberg, publicly toasting to a pre-season game-winner. This just doesn’t happen.
MAKING THE ENTOURAGE
Oh you know, just golfing with the boys…
Pimpin out the newest merch…
Popping bottles in Paris…
Flying private charters:
Although most of the posts are coming from Butler himself, this is no one-sided affair. Mark made his pitch to get Jimmy to the Celtics, letting TMZ know that it was going to cost a lot no matter where he went.
I haven’t found any other articles online examining the bromance, so I can’t really explain the why’s and how’s. All I know is that it’s only a matter of time before we see these two in a buddy comedy.
And after this summer’s new contract, Mark can expect Jimmy to be picking up the tab a bit more often.