Jimmy Butler on his love of Taylor Swift and why he quit playing guitar

Thursday July 2nd, 2015

Jimmy Butler is quickly becoming a star in the NBA after a breakout season that saw him crowned the league's Most Improved Player, and a new five-year max contract with the Chicago Bulls.

Butler sat down with Rolling Stone before the new contract was announced to talk about his meteoric rise in the NBA, as well as his love for a certain pop songstress.

You're also a Taylor Swift fan, right?
I am a T-Swift fan. I'm going to see her in San Diego in August. I'm not going to say I'm gonna be in the back screaming but…I didn't say I wouldn't.

Will it be the first time you're seeing her?
In concert, yeah. She's a Knicks fan so whenever we play the Knicks I just go up to her and say, "Hey, you know, I listen to your music" and she's like, "Oh, well I watch you play basketball."

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Swift isn't the only country music royalty Butler has rubbed elbows with, as the shooting guard told Rolling Stone of a meeting with Garth Brooks that made him give up playing guitar.

I saw you holding a guitar once in a video. Do you play?
I used to, until I met Garth Brooks. When you play guitar, your hands are gonna be calloused. While we were talking I was looking at his hands and asked, "Man, your hands are still calloused. Did you just start playing guitar?" He was like, "No, I've been playing the guitar for 50 years." You mean to tell me that my hands are going to look like that for 50 years? I've never played since.

You asked Garth Brooks if he just started playing guitar?
Like, obviously I was joking but I was like, "Man, your hands don't get used to it?" He said, "They get used to it, but they're still calloused." I already bite my nails so my hands look terrible as it is. I need my fingertips for basketball.

Butler also joked that basketball is just a stepping stone until the world discovers his angelic singing voice.

So basketball's a day job?

Yeah, basketball's just a day job. I'm like Batman, except for singing. No, Superman. I dress up in a basketball uniform by day. I mean night, because I play at night. But after the game, I take off my uniform and it's the Superman of singing outfits. I don't think that was a good comparison now that I've thought about it.

The main takeaway from the interview is that Jimmy Butler is good at basketball and singing, bad at analogies.

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Brendan Maloy

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