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Unstoppable rise of Jimmy Butler: From NBA star to coffee mogul

Discover the inspiring story of Butler, an NBA star turned entrepreneur, whose determination led him to create the successful Bigface coffee brand and amass a net worth of $47.8 million

by Motoni Olodun

Jimmy Butler is an American professional basketball player known for his hard-nosed intensity and standout performances in postseason games. He is a six-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA Team honoree, and a five-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team honoree. His journey from a challenging childhood to becoming a successful NBA star basketball player and buddy entrepreneur is a testament to his tenacity and doggedness.

In this article we delve into the career and wealth of the star athlete and how he is taking on the business world, and building a name for himself as one of America’s high-networth individuals.

Early Life and Career

Born on Sept. 14, 1989, in Houston, Texas, Jimmy Butler III had a challenging upbringing. His father abandoned the family when he was an infant, and by the time he was 13, his mother had kicked him out of the house. Despite these hardships, Butler maintained a close relationship with his parents and used his experiences to fuel his determination.

Butler’s interest in basketball was sparked when he was 13, inspired by the Golden State Warriors championship in 2015. He was noticed by Jordan Leslie, a freshman football and basketball player at his school, who challenged him to a three-point shooting contest. This encounter marked the beginning of Butler’s basketball journey.

In high school, Butler was an all-district player, but he did not receive any scholarship offers from National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball programs. Instead, he attended Tyler Junior College in nearby Tyler, Texas, where he led the team in scoring his freshman season and drew attention from several Division I schools.

In 2008, he transferred to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Butler was selected with the final pick of the first round of the 2011 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. He became a full-time starter in his third season, averaging 13.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He broke into stardom during the 2014–15 NBA season, upping his scoring average to 20 points per game and earning All-Star honors en route to being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

Over the years, Butler has played for the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, and currently, the Miami Heat. 

Career Highlights and Feats

Butler is a six-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA Team honoree, and a five-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team honoree. He won a gold medal as a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. In 2015, he was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player. In 2021, he led the league in steals. In 2023, he led the eighth-seeded Heat to their second NBA Finals in four years.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Butler’s passion for coffee is well known. He mentions drinking up to 12 cups every day. This love for coffee led him to start his own coffee business called Bigface. He started the idea as a joke in the NBA’s 2020 Covid bubble in Orlando, Florida, where he started selling cups of coffee for $20 each. After that season, Butler decided to file for trademarks around his idea and build a brand which he named Bigface, and officially started plans to launch his coffee company.

Butler joined Shopify’s creator program to boost his Bigface coffee brand. He also started traveling to various coffee farms including one in Costa Rica, to study the coffee business. He had discussions with farmers on how to use Bigface to tell the story behind the beans and the farmers and their families.

Bigface now sources beans from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Colombia and sells them on its website alongside other fashion items. Butler is involved in every aspect of running the business, from selecting the bean varieties to designing the clothing to doing market research. His ultimate goal is to open a chain of cafes where people can enjoy his delicious java

Wealth and Sources of Income

Butler’s primary source of income is his salary from playing basketball. He signed a four-year contract with the Miami Heat worth $142 million. As of 2023, his salary/winnings were reported to be $37.8 million.

Butler has also secured numerous endorsement deals that significantly boost his earnings. He has partnered with renowned brands such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Google, Li Ning, Logitech, Rhone, Tag Heuer, Aquahydrate, Beats By Dre, Bonobos, Five Four, and Hyperice. His earnings from endorsements were reported to be $10 million as of 2023.

Besides his Coffee shop, BigFace, he has real estate investments and reportedly owns a house in Miami worth $7.4 million.

As of 2023, Butler’s net worth was estimated to be around $47.8 million according to Forbes.

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