Even if we don't know Jimmy Butler personally, we know three things about him: He's a great basketball player, he's a relentless competitor, and he's completely nuts about coffee.
Butler took his own coffee-making gear with him to the bubble in Orlando and infamously charged $20 a cup.
But what seemed to be a joke and nothing more turned out to be a true vocation. In fact, he recently said that he intends to open his own coffee shop once his playing days are over:
“After my basketball career, and people are like ‘Man, what is Jimmy doing nowadays,’ you know where to find me,” Butler said. “I will be in my cafe behind the bar making coffee."
But turns out that Butler wasn't always the coffee lover he is nowadays. As a matter of fact, it all started just 4 years ago, as he told GQ in an interview.
(Transcript via GQ)
GQ: When did coffee become a thing for you?
Jimmy Butler: I would say four years ago, when I was in London. I was going from cоffee shop to cоffee shop, meeting people that I would have never met if it weren’t for coffee. I’m just talking about the locals over there. Fútbol is king over there, so they had no idea who I was. They had an idea that I might have been someone because I’m a 6-foot-7 —but not really. Cоffee just became a thing for me. When you’re a perfectionist and want to be the best at everything, I now want to make the best coffee and serve the best coffee. The Bubble came and Bigface was born, and the rest is history. We just launched and also partnered with Shopify. It’s been fun to see Bigface go from a Bubble idea to a real business.
GQ: What do you love most about cоffee?
JB: The fact that you always have something in common with someone who drinks coffee. You just have to sit down and figure out what it is. If you’re in a coffee shop and you’re drinking, you have something in common with everyone else in there. It just got me to thinking, all the hate that people do around the world, why don’t you just sit down and figure out what the hell you got in common over a cup of coffee instead of stressing what you don’t have in common? I bet people would find out that there are more similarities than differences.
The other part that I love is that it comes from all over the world. There are so many ways you can serve it—hot, cold, latte, Americano, cortado, put it on some ice cream: affogato. There’s so much that goes into making it, and so much to learn. Having coffee with people can lead to so much knowledge."
NBA players aren't just athletes. They have their own tastes and preferences just like the rest of us. And Butler's hobby is pretty clear nowadays.
Maybe, that's the key behind him waking up so early in the morning to work out before everybody else hits the gym. A couple of cups of coffee and he's ready to go.