Jimmy Butler Meyers Leonard
Photo: Yahoo Sports

Jimmy Butler shared some interesting stories about how he chose his jersey numbers in his college and NBA career.

The superstar of the Miami Heat wore No. 33 in college, No. 21 with the Chicago Bulls and No. 23 with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Since joining Miami last summer, Butler has decided to wear No.22.

“I played with one of the toughest individuals I’ve ever played with in my life — Taj Gibson. He taught me so much about how to be a pro. Sometimes people choose numbers because of someone that inspires them, and Taj is one of those people.

I wore 33 at Marquette. In high school, I wore No. 1 because of Tracy McGrady. My best friend, who’s a brother to me and (who) I moved in with, was No. 33. And as much as his family had done for me, I chose it because his mom’s favorite player was Larry Bird, and then it kind of stuck. It was all because of Larry Bird and Jordan Leslie.

I chose 21 in Chicago because I was drafted at 21. I played with a guy named Joe Fulce in junior college that wore 21. I wouldn’t have gotten in the league without him.

The number 23 (at Minnesota) was just because I was with Jordan Brand. I wasn’t comparing myself to Michael Jordan by any means. But I thought Jordan once wore 23 in Chicago and then when he moved on to another team. I was moving on from Chicago, so I thought, ‘I’m gonna take 23,'” Butler told Andre Fernandez of The Athletic.